NBA

Celtics obliterate Warriors 140-88, hold Curry to just four points

By Sports Desk March 04, 2024

Stephen Curry's first basket Sunday tied the score between the Golden State Warriors and Boston Celtics midway through the first quarter.

The next time he made a shot, the Warriors trailed by 32 points.

The Celtics annihilated Curry and the Warriors, cruising to a 140-88 drubbing to extend their season-best winning streak to 11 games.

The victory marked the third-largest winning margin in franchise history as Boston set an NBA record with its third win by 50 or more points this season.

 

After Curry's floating bank shot tied the game at 21 with 6:05 to play in the opening period, Boston went on a 22-3 run en route to a franchise-record 44-point half-time lead.

Curry's only other basket came with 4:24 remaining in the second quarter, as his four points marked his fewest since he scored just three on March 16, 2022 at Boston - a game he departed after playing just 16 minutes due to a foot injury.

The 10-time All-Star missed all nine of his 3-point attempts and didn't play after half-time.

The Celtics had no such trouble making their baskets, connecting on 51.0 per cent of their 3-point tries, hitting a season high-tying 25 shots from beyond the 3-point arc.

Jaylen Brown had a game-high 29 points in just 22 minutes, while Jayson Tatum had 27 points on 9-of-13 shooting on his 26th birthday.

Payton Pritchard added 19 points for the Celtics, who shot 60 per-cent in the first half to go into the break with an 82-38 lead, and led by as much as 56 points.

At 48-12, Boston has its best record through 60 games since 2007-08 - the last season the franchise won the NBA title.

Golden State (32-28) arrived in Boston having won 11 of 13, including eight straight on the road.

None of the Warriors starters played more than 20 minutes, as reserve Lester Quinones had a team-high 17 points in 33 minutes.

 

Thunder escape in Phoenix to move back atop West

The Oklahoma City Thunder survived a furious rally by the Phoenix Suns to pull out an impressive 118-110 road win to move atop Western Conference.

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander had 36 points, nine rebounds and nine assists to help the Thunder bounce back from Thursday's 132-118 loss to the San Antonio Spurs.

The victory marked Oklahoma City's seventh in eight games as the Thunder (42-18) moved into sole possession of first place in the West for the first time since January 27.

Oklahoma City looked like it was going to cruise to an easy win, going up by 24 points on Gilgeous-Alexander's jump shot with 6:56 left in the third quarter.

The Suns (35-26) stormed back, however, going on a 31-5 run and taking a 91-89 lead Royce O'Neale's 3-pointer just over one minute into the fourth period.

Phoenix built its lead to six points before Oklahoma City rallied once more, taking the lead for good at 105-103 on Jalen Williams' driving layup with 5:29 to play.

 

Jusuf Nurkic established a Phoenix franchise record with 31 rebounds - the most by any player in the NBA since Kevin Love also had 31 for the Minnesota Timberwolves on November 12, 2010.

Nurkic's previous career high for rebounds was 23 and he broke the Suns' record of 27 set by Tyson Chandler on January 23, 2016.

He also had 14 points and four assists for Phoenix, which was playing without Devin Booker after he sprained his right ankle in Saturday's 118-109 loss to the Houston Rockets.

Bradley Beal led the Suns with 31 points and six assists but also accounted for seven of Phoenix's 21 turnovers.

Kevin Durant, who added 20 points, turned the ball over five times, along with Nurkic.

 

Brunson exits early but Knicks get past Cavaliers

Things looked bleak early for New York when Jalen Bunson got hurt in the opening minute, but the Knicks managed to overcome the loss of their All-Star guard for a 107-98 road win over the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Brunson was injured on New York's first possession when his left knee hit the knee of team-mate Isaiah Hartenstein as he lifted off the ground while attempting a jump shot after coming off a screen from Hartenstein near the foul line.

He sat on the court holding his left leg and needed to be helped to the locker room.

The injury is not believed to be serious with coach Tom Thibodeau saying after the game that X-rays were negative. 

That's good news for a banged-up Knicks team already without starters Julius Randle, Mitchell Robinson and O.G. Anunoby because of injuries.

Brunson, who was diagnosed with a knee contusion, entered the game against the Cavaliers averaging 30.2 points in his last six games.

Josh Hart and Donte DiVincenzo stepped up in Brunson's absence for the Knicks (36-25), as Hart finished with 13 points, a career high-tying 19 rebounds and 10 assists, while DiVincenzo scored 28.

 

Reserve Miles McBride entered New York's lineup after Brunson was injured, and was never subbed out, finishing with 16 points and four 3-pointers - including a clutch 3 in the final minute to put the Knicks up by nine.

Playing without Donovan Mitchell for a second straight game because of left knee soreness, the Cavaliers (39-21) fell apart late, missing 5 of 6 shots while turning the ball over four times in the final four minutes.

Backup Sam Merrill led Cleveland with 21 points while making 7-of-13 3-point attempts and Darius Garland added 19 points and went 5 of 8 from beyond the arc. 

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