76ers

Splash Brothers rain points on Rockets

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AP Images

Splash Brothers rain points on Rockets

HOUSTON -- Stephen Curry had 29 points, and Klay Thompson added 28 and the Golden State Warriors pulled away late in the fourth quarter for a 124-114 victory over the Houston Rockets on Thursday night.

The Warriors extended their road winning streak to nine games and have won an NBA-best 16 road games this season.

The teams stayed close through most of the game, but the Warriors had a seven-point lead with about 3 1/2 minutes left. They scored the next five points, highlighted by a 3 from Curry, to make it 120-109 and send many of the home fans streaming for the exits.

The Rockets got 30 points from Eric Gordon, and Gerald Green came off the bench to score 29 and tie a career high with eight 3-pointers as they played their second game without James Harden, who is out for at least two weeks with a hamstring strain.

The Warriors were short-handed, too, playing without Kevin Durant, who missed the game with strained right calf. But Andre Iguodala returned after sitting out Wednesday night with back and hip strains and had 10 points and eight assists.

Curry added nine rebounds and five assists and a steal in his third game back after missing 11 with a sprained right ankle (see full recap).

Westbrook triple-double sparks OKC victory
LOS ANGELES -- Russell Westbrook had his 13th triple-double of the season, Paul George scored 31 points and the Oklahoma City Thunder beat the Clippers 127-117 on Thursday night to snap Los Angeles' four-game winning streak.

Westbrook finished with 29 points, 12 rebounds and 11 assists in his latest homecoming. Carmelo Anthony added 22 points for the Thunder.

DeAndre Jordan led the Clippers with a season-high 26 points and 17 rebounds. Lou Williams had 26 points and Blake Griffin scored 24.

The Thunder have won eight of 10. They beat the Lakers on Wednesday night and completed a back-to-back sweep in Los Angeles.

The Clippers led 97-94 at the end of the third quarter, but the Thunder -- led primarily by their second unit -- opened the fourth with a 12-0 run.

Los Angeles missed its first seven shots to begin the final period.

The Clippers played the second half without guard Milos Teodosic after he had a flare-up of his left plantar fasciitis. He previously missed 22 games with the injury (see full recap).

Former Sixers guard named HOF finalist

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USA Today Images

Former Sixers guard named HOF finalist

Former Sixers player and head coach Maurice Cheeks on Saturday was named a finalist for the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.

Other candidates include Grant Hill, Steve Nash, Jason Kidd and former Sixer Chris Webber.

Cheeks, a four-time All-Star point guard and member of the 1982-83 championship team, spent 10 seasons with the Sixers before stints with the San Antonio Spurs, New York Knicks, Atlanta Hawks and New Jersey Nets. He averaged 12.2 points, 7.3 assists and 2.3 steals a night in 853 career games. Cheeks ranks in the top-five in NBA history in both assists (7,392) and steals (2,310). He was also voted to the NBA All-Defensive team five times.

Currently an assistant with the Oklahoma City Thunder, Cheeks was the Sixers' head coach from 2005-2008, but was fired after a slow start to the 2008-09 season. He was also the head coach of the Portland Trail Blazers and Detroit Pistons. He has a 305-315 career record and has made the postseason three times in nine seasons.

Sixers show they're ready to take over the world

Sixers show they're ready to take over the world

LOS ANGELES — The Sixers made their mark among the NBA’s top young talent on a global scale.

Joel Embiid (Cameroon), Ben Simmons (Australia) and Dario Saric (Croatia) all started for Team World Friday in the Mtn Dew Kickstart Rising Stars game. They helped kick off All-Star weekend with a 155-124 victory over Team USA. 

Simmons recorded a double-double, which is becoming clockwork for the point guard (22 in the regular season, six triple-doubles). He posted 11 points off a perfect 5 for 5 from the field and 1 for 1 from the line. Simmons added 13 assists, six boards and four steals. 

This game was, in a way, a double statement for Simmons. It was an an opportunity to make a case for Rookie of the Year, with fellow contender Donovan Mitchell competing on Team USA. Mitchell notched seven points (3 for 10 from the field, 1 for 6 from three), seven assists, two rebounds, five steals and two blocks.

The Rising Stars contest also was a chance for Simmons to start an early bid for the 2019 All-Star team. He was popular among the fan votes but was not selected as one of four replacements required because of injuries. 

Simmons projects he will be playing in the All-Star Game “hopefully next year.” When it came down to why he was not on this season’s list, Simmons replied, “I think just votes.” 

Saric continued his offensive momentum with 18 points, including 4 for 7 shooting from three. He has scored in double digits in his last 35 games leading into the All-Star break. Saric also grabbed three rebounds and dished five assists. 

“I’ve always got the wish or dream in my life one day to be part of something big like this, even if it’s the Rising Stars game,” Saric said of participating in All-Star weekend. “I think it makes my family proud, my friends from my hometown, or all the people who were around me during my [growth as] a basketball player.”

Embiid logged the least playing time of the Sixers’ trio as he prepares to compete in the Taco Bell Skills Challenge Saturday and start in the All-Star Game Sunday. He missed the Sixers’ last game on Wednesday because of right ankle soreness. Embiid scored five points and two rebounds in less than nine minutes. 

“On Sunday, I expect to go harder,” Embiid said (see story). “I’m going for that MVP. Guys better make sure they find me because I’m looking to have a good game.”

Not listed on the box score: Embiid and Simmons going 2 for 2 as roving reporters. Check out their journalistic skills when they got the mic Friday to interview each other (see video).