NBA

Thompson top scores as Warriors beat Pistons, Towns shines in Timberwolves road win

By Sports Desk January 19, 2022

Stephen Curry returned from a hand injury with 18 points as the Golden State Warriors eased past the struggling Detroit Pistons 102-86 on Tuesday.

The Warriors led 66-38 at half-time with Klay Thompson continuing the progress in his return from long-term injury by top scoring with a season-high 21 points. Thompson had 17 points by half-time.

Thompson was playing his fourth game back after returning earlier this month following a 941-day layoff due to Achilles and ACL injuries.

Curry had four three-pointers among his 18 points along with three rebounds and eight assists, while top 10 pick Jonathan Kuminga started and had 12 points and 10 rebounds.

The Warriors had lost 119-99 to the Minnesota Timberwolves without Curry on Sunday but improve to 32-12 to be second in the west behind the Phoenix Suns (34-9).

 

TOWNS LEADS ROAD WIN

Karl-Anthony Towns scored 20 points to lead the Minnesota Timberwolves to a 112-110 road win over the New York Knicks.

Towns had 20 points with five rebounds and three assists, while 2020 NBA Draft first pick Anthony Edwards had 21 points, three rebounds and three assists.

The Timberwolves center made a clutch two-pointer to put his side up 110-109 with 29.3 seconds left.

Minnesota won with a 26-19 final quarter, despite Julius Randle's (21 points, nine rebounds and nine assists) big second half for the Knicks with Evan Fournier (27 points, four rebounds and four assists) contributing well.

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    The playoff-chasing Golden State Warriors will have Chris Paul back in the lineup on Tuesday night when they visit a Washington Wizards team that’s mired in an 11-game losing streak.

    Paul has not played since he sustained a fractured left hand on Jan. 5 against the Detroit Pistons and underwent surgery three days later.

    The 38-year-old Paul is averaging 8.9 points, 7.2 assists, 3.8 rebounds and 1.13 steals in 32 games in his first season with Golden State.

    The Warriors went 12-9 after Paul’s injury and are 29-27 on the season.

    Golden State leads the Utah Jazz by three games for 10th place in the Western Conference and a berth in the NBA Play-In Tournament.

  • Lakers fume at officiating in loss to Suns Lakers fume at officiating in loss to Suns

    LeBron James and Darvin Ham were left frustrated with the officiating after the Los Angeles Lakers went down to the Phoenix Suns.

    The Lakers lost 123-113 in Arizona on Sunday, with Los Angeles awarded just eight free throws in contrast to Phoenix's tally of 19.

    It was a season-low for the Lakers, who averaged 24.7 free throws per game heading into the game.

    Of those eight free throws, none came in the second half, and James was left exasperated.

    "A lot of people, a lot of coaches, a lot of teams are like, 'That's all the Lakers do is get to the free throw line,'" James said.

    "It's like this narrative out there that that's all we do is get to the free throw line. I mean, we have attackers. That's what we do. We have attackers. Yeah, we shoot the ball from the perimeter, but we're not shooting 40 to 50 3s a game. We're not that team. We don't have the luxury of being that team. So, working it into the paint, that's what we're really good at.

    "To have eight free throw attempts is definitely not us. I know, definitely, I got hit a couple of times when I got to the paint tonight that wasn't called. But it is what it is."

    Lakers coach Ham, though, was left reserved.

    "I'm not one to use referees as an excuse," he said.

    "But it's becoming increasingly tough because of the inconsistency. I'm seeing our guys get the same contact on them as we're supposedly committing. And the whistle is not being blown."

    Anthony Davis did not record a single free throw attempt for the first time in a game this season.

    He added: "We live on getting to the line. We attack the basket.

    "Especially how much we struggle from the 3, we're kind of up and down, so we try to live in the paint and get to the line.

    "I'm not sure if it was just the refs missing it or they weren't fouling. I felt I got fouled a couple of times. But that's part of our identity, our DNA, is getting to the line and guys catching rhythms like that and then playing from there."

    While the Suns are sixth in the Western Conference after the win, the Lakers are in ninth, with a 31-28 record.

    In other news on Sunday, the NBA banned five players – including Jimmy Butler – for their involvement in an on-court spat in Friday's meeting between the Miami Heat and the New Orleans Pelicans.

    Butler, Nikola Jovic and Naji Marshall were each suspended for one game without pay, while Jose Alvarado and Thomas Bryant were slapped with three-game bans.

  • 'I didn't even hear it' – Rivers laughs off hostile 76ers reception after big Bucks win 'I didn't even hear it' – Rivers laughs off hostile 76ers reception after big Bucks win

    The Philadelphia 76ers supporters may have jeered Doc Rivers, but the Milwaukee Bucks coach took the hostile reception in his stride as his new team won big on Sunday.

    Rivers was dismissed by the Sixers eight months ago following a disappointing end to a season in which Joel Embiid was named the NBA's MVP.

    Yet Rivers came out smiling after his return to Philadelphia on Sunday, with the Bucks having run out 119-98 victors.

    Giannis Antetokounmpo (30) and Damian Lillard (24) combined for 54 points as the Bucks followed up their win over the Minnesota Timberwolves with a statement victory over a rival in the East.

    And while Rivers received a frosty reception, he was all smiles after the game.

    "I didn't even hear it, to be honest. That means I was back at home," he quipped.

    "It was awesome. Really. I had three good years here, not talking about basketball, just in life. I enjoyed my stay here and made friends for life here.

    "The fans were good, too. There were a couple of hilarious comments. One guy told me that Larry David was looking for me to golf. I thought that was pretty funny."

    Reflecting on his tenure in charge of the Sixers, Rivers added: "I'm happy with it overall, I just wish we could've gone further.

    "I wish we could have had a chance to have Joel healthy in the playoffs.

    "But overall, Joel became an MVP, and we established this team as a championship contender. That wasn't said the year before.

    "You think about it, we had the James Harden trade, the Ben [Simmons] stuff. Some was under my control, some was out of my control, but overall, for me, if you don't win a title, you're never exactly happy. That's why we all do this."

    The Bucks are 5-7 under Rivers, who replaced Adrian Griffin in January. Antetokounmpo, though, is relishing the challenge under his new coach.

    "I love him," Antetokounmpo said. "It's been incredible playing for him. He just explains to me, what he wants from me.

    "You respect him because he's been 25 years in the league. You've got to respect what he's done in the league, won a championship, won a lot of games, but when he comes in the locker room, he keeps it simple."

    The Bucks are third in the East, four wins ahead of the 76ers with a 37-21 record.

    "I thought we were consistent," Lillard said. "We got into the paint, we were willing to make the extra pass to find the open guy and we got quality looks.

    "To play good offense you find quality shots and have a lot of mix. I thought that’s what we did."

    Rivers added: "We had been putting such an emphasis on defense.

    "The last few games we’ve been terrific. When you have Giannis on your team, if you can get stops and get him in transition, Giannis in transition is a problem for everybody."

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