OAKLAND, Calif. — Kevin Durant had 31 points, 11 rebounds and six assists to help rally the Golden State Warriors from 18 points down and beat the Washington Wizards 120-117 on Friday night, a game marred by a fight between Golden State's Draymond Green and Washington's Bradley Beal shortly before halftime that led to both being ejected.
Stephen Curry added 20 points and eight assists, hitting two 3s and two free throws in the final minute of the third quarter to get Golden State within 97-87 heading into the final 12 minutes. Then Klay Thompson and Durant made 3s early in the fourth for a four-point game. Thompson scored 18 points.
Durant's jumper with 1:20 to go put Golden State up by five, but the defending champions still needed his two free throws with 9.4 seconds left. John Wall missed an off-balance 3 then Washington couldn't capitalize on one final chance.
David West made two straight baskets for the Warriors midway through the fourth but Otto Porter Jr. hit consecutive 3-pointers for the Wizards, answering a 3 by Durant with a baseline dagger on the way to 29 points for the Wizards.
With 19.5 seconds left in the second quarter, Beal held the front of Green's jersey with his left hand while grabbing Green around the jaw with his right. That enraged Green, who threw his right arm in frustration and wrapped arms with Beal as if hugging, then other players joined the scrum (see full recap).
Towns has 33 and 19 as Timberwolves hold off Thunder
MINNEAPOLIS — When Jimmy Butler was sidelined for two games with an upper respiratory infection, the Minnesota Timberwolves lacked energy and struggled on defense. The end result was a pair of losses by an average of 22 points.
In Butler's return Friday night against Oklahoma City, it was evident just how different a team Minnesota is with him on the court.
Butler scored 13 of his 25 points in the fourth quarter and helped the Timberwolves hold on for a 119-116 win over the Thunder. His veteran leadership was felt on both ends of the floor for Minnesota, which improved to 3-2.
"He makes a big difference," Timberwolves coach Tom Thibodeau said. "Just having his presence - he's a great leader, does the right things on the floor."
Karl-Anthony Towns had 33 points and 19 rebounds to lead Minnesota. Towns also had arguably his best defensive game of the young season, posting a season-high four blocks (see full recap).
Harden's triple-double lifts Rockets past Hornets
CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Houston Rockets coach Mike D'Antoni seemed genuinely disappointed his team only attempted 55 3-pointers against the Charlotte Hornets.
"I don't know why we didn't shoot 60," D'Antoni quipped. "We passed up about four."
James Harden had his first triple-double of the season with 27 points, 11 assists and 10 rebounds, and the Rockets finished 22 of 57 from beyond the 3-point arc in a 109-93 win Friday night.
Houston nearly broke its own NBA regular season records of 24 3-pointers and 61 3-pointers attempted set last December.
Eric Gordon and Ryan Anderson led the 3-point barrage. Gordon was 6 of 16 from beyond the arc and had 26 points, while Anderson was 6 of 15 and finished with 21 points (see full recap).
Efficient Fournier scores 25 as Magic beat Spurs
ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) The season is a little more than a week old, but the Orlando Magic continue to shock the NBA.
The Magic buried the San Antonio Spurs 114-87 behind 25 points from Evan Fournier to run their record to an Eastern Conference-best 4-1.
Orlando led by as many as 36 points in a near-perfect performance at both ends of the floor. One week ago, the Magic led the Cleveland Cavaliers by as many as 37 in a 114-93 victory.
Jonathon Simmons scored 17 points, Aaron Gordon had 16 and Nikola Vucevic scored 15 for the Magic, who closed this one out early. They led by 27 at halftime and pushed the lead to 36 when Fournier conveted a four-point play with just over three minutes left in the third period (see full recap).