Warriors rally after star suffers injury

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Warriors rally after star suffers injury

OAKLAND, Calif. -- Kevin Durant had 37 points, 11 rebounds and four blocked shots and almost single-handedly led the undermanned Golden State Warriors' fourth-quarter rally past the San Antonio Spurs for a 110-107 win Thursday night after Stephen Curry went down early.

Durant hit his third straight jumper to tie it with 2:01 remaining before the Warriors went ahead on Draymond Green's putback the following possession. Klay Thompson made two free throws with 15.9 seconds left.

Bryn Forbes' 3-point try from the top to tie it hit the front rim as the final buzzer sounded.

Green had his third triple-double this season with 11 points, 12 rebounds and 10 assists.

Curry was lost for the night to a rolled right ankle early in the first quarter, but the Warriors responded without their two-time MVP to win their seventh straight since the All-Star break (see full recap).

Irving lifts Celtics over Timberwolves
MINNEAPOLIS -- Kyrie Irving returned from a one-game absence to help Boston fend off Minnesota, finishing with 23 points, seven rebounds and eight assists to pace the Celtics in a 117-109 victory over the Timberwolves on Thursday night.

Al Horford added 20 points, eight rebounds, six assists and tough defense on Karl-Anthony Towns for the Celtics, who stayed two games behind Toronto in the Eastern Conference race with their sixth win in seven games. They have three more losses than the Raptors.

Nemanja Bjelica scored a career-high 30 points on 11-for-16 shooting, including 6 for 9 from 3-point range. His first 20-10 game in the NBA was ultimately wasted in the third straight loss for the Timberwolves, who are still trying to find their way without injured All-Star Jimmy Butler. They trailed by as many as 18 points soon after halftime, too much to overcome some second-half surges behind Bjelica and 18 points from Taj Gibson on 8-for-10 shooting.

The Wolves were within five at 88-83 in the fourth quarter, but every other time they were on the verge of cutting the margin to two possessions Irving and the Celtics had an answer on the other end (see full recap).

Thunder dominate ice-cold Suns
OKLAHOMA CITY -- Russell Westbrook had 27 points, eight rebounds and nine assists to help the Oklahoma City Thunder rout the Phoenix Suns 115-87 on Thursday night.

Paul George added 21 points, Corey Brewer had 17, Steven Adams 16, and Carmelo Anthony 11. Brewer, who made his Thunder debut two games ago, replaced Josh Huestis in the starting lineup and responded with a 6-for-11 performance from the floor.

Devin Booker, wearing a headband for the first time in his three-year NBA career, had 30 points for Phoenix. He had 30 last week in Arizona in a loss to the Thunder.

Phoenix shot 33.7 percent from the field and 24.3 percent from 3-point range.

Oklahoma City led 49-38 at halftime, shooting 46.3 percent from the floor and limiting the Suns to just 27.9 percent. Westbrook had a 7-0 run of his own in third to push the lead to 22 points (see full recap).

Joel Embiid will be Stephen Curry's teammate ... for one night

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Joel Embiid will be Stephen Curry's teammate ... for one night

Last week, Joel Embiid learned his fate as an All-Star starter. Now the big fella knows his running mates.

Embiid was selected to Team Stephen on Thursday during the first-ever All-Star Game draft. The NBA ditched the showcase’s traditional East-West format this season in favor of the two leading vote-getters from each conference (Cleveland’s LeBron James and Golden State’s Stephen Curry) serving as captains and picking the respective teams.

Embiid will be joined in the starting lineup with Curry, Houston’s James Harden, Toronto’s DeMar DeRozan and Milwaukee’s Giannis Antetokounmpo. They will oppose James, Golden State’s Kevin Durant, Boston’s Kyrie Irving and New Orleans’ Anthony Davis and DeMarcus Cousins.

“Joel is obviously going to be a future All-Star for many more years and this is his first go-around,” Curry said during TNT’s broadcast to announce the rosters. “Maybe one day that weekend he’ll take over my Twitter account and say some jokes for me.”

While Embiid is known to play around off the floor, his game has been all business this season. The center has averaged 23.7 points (49.1 percent shooting), 10.9 rebounds, 3.3 assists and 1.9 blocks in 31.5 minutes a game.

Those numbers allowed Embiid to become the Sixers’ first All-Star since Jrue Holiday in 2012-13 and the organization’s first starter since Allen Iverson in 2009-10.

“I feel very blessed to be in this type of position,” Embiid said last Thursday. “Thank all the fans out there for the support. It’s been a tough couple of years and I really appreciate it — everybody out there, everybody around me, the whole team, the whole organization, the fans especially, for making this happen. We can only get better from here.”

Click here to see the full rosters for the 67th NBA All-Star Game, which will take place on Sunday, Feb. 18, at STAPLES Center in Los Angeles.

Rockets beat Warriors in battle of West's best

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Rockets beat Warriors in battle of West's best

HOUSTON — Chris Paul scored 33 points and 11 rebounds, James Harden had 22 points and the Houston Rockets held off the Golden State Warriors 116-108 on Saturday night to snap their 14-game road winning streak.

Harden stepped back from Stephen Curry for a 3-pointer as the shot clock expired to make it 114-108 with 1:10 left. Harden then blocked Curry's 3-point attempt after a timeout, and Paul made two free throws with 28 seconds left.

Golden State lost away from home for the first time since Nov. 22. The Warriors had won seven straight in Houston.

Kevin Durant led Golden State with 26 points, Draymond Green had 21 and Curry added 19 on a night he went 5 of 15 on 3-point attempts.

The Warriors were wrapping up a five-game road trip and had won the first four games to tie a franchise record for consecutive road wins. But they struggled from the outset Saturday and trailed by double digits for most of the first half (see full recap).

Olynyk's free throw gives Heat win over Hornets
CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Kelly Olynyk scored 14 of his 16 points in the fourth quarter, including a free throw with 0.2 seconds left, to help the Miami Heat erase a five-point deficit in the final 34 seconds and stun the Charlotte Hornets 106-105 on Saturday night.

Wayne Ellington had 26 points on six 3-pointers, Joe Johnson had 22 points and Olynyk was brilliant down the stretch.

Nic Batum scored a season-high 26 points and Kemba Walker had 22 for Charlotte, which had a two-game winning streak snapped.

Charlotte led 105-100 when Johnson got free for a dunk. The Hornets inbounded the ball to Batum, but Josh Richardson ripped it from his hands and passed to Johnson, who knocked down a 3-pointer from the wing to tie (see full recap).

Thunder score 148 points, keep Lebron short of 30,000 for career
CLEVELAND — LeBron James came up just short of 30,000 points.

Oklahoma City nearly got there, too.

Unable to stop Paul George, Russell Westbrook or Carmelo Anthony, the Cavaliers were embarrassed 148-124 on Saturday by the Thunder, who not only rolled to their fourth straight win but kept James shy of a historic milestone.

George scored 36 points, Westbrook had 23 and 20 assists and Anthony dropped a season-high 29 points as the Thunder tied the record for the most points given up by a Cleveland team in a regulation game. Philadelphia scored 148 on the Cavs back in 1972.

"I've never in my basketball life gave up 148 points, not even probably playing video games," James said. "They got everything that they wanted. Inside, outside, they had it moving." (see full recap).

Pelicans' stars all contribute in win over Grizzlies
NEW ORLEANS — Jrue Holiday scored 13 of his 27 points in the fourth quarter, DeMarcus Cousins had 24 points and 10 rebounds, and the New Orleans Pelicans beat the Memphis Grizzlies 111-104 on Saturday night.

Anthony Davis had 21 points and 12 rebounds but did not score his first points of the second half until he dunked with 1:15 to go in the game, giving the Pelicans a 108-102 lead.

Darius Miller added 12 points in a reserve role for New Orleans, which never trailed but very nearly blew a 21-point lead.

Trailing by 15 at halftime, Memphis scored the first 13 points of the third quarter, part of a 16-2 run to open the half that trimmed New Orleans' lead to a single point with most of the third quarter remaining (see full recap).