Klay Thompson never doubted himself after inspiring the Golden State Warriors to a 122-109 win over the Milwaukee Bucks on Saturday.

Thompson scored a season-high 38 points – his highest tally in a game since March 2019 – as the Warriors extended their winning run to three matches at Chase Center.

The five-time NBA All-Star landed eight three-pointers, claimed six rebounds and provided five assists in a brilliant performance.

Six of Thompson's field goals came in the second quarter, which is the most he has made in a quarter for over three years.

The three-time NBA champion says he always knew he was capable of conjuring up such inspiring displays, despite what others may have thought.

He said: "Everybody makes a big deal about my shooting, man. I mean, I'm not happy with how I was shooting but I know these nights are within me.

"I just know. I've done too many great things that players haven't done before to doubt myself."

 

Warriors head coach Steve Kerr was delighted to see Thompson putting on a show once again.

He said: "I'm sure it's a relief. He's so hard on himself and wants so badly to succeed.

"I thought he just let the game come to him early. He didn't hunt shots. Over the past few games, he's been taking tough ones early, which has kept him from getting into a rhythm.

"Tonight, it felt like he was taking better shots early. ... You know Klay, once a couple go in, the tougher ones get a lot easier for him."

Golden State are third in the Western Conference at 46-22 after getting the better of the defending champions, who are second in the Eastern Conference on 42-26.

A barnstorming first half from the Golden State Warriors' Klay Thompson set up a decisive 122-109 home victory against the reigning champions Milwaukee Bucks on Saturday.

Thompson started on fire, scoring 21 points (8-12 from the field, 5-8 from three), with three rebounds, three assists, a steal and a block as the Warriors went into the half-time leading 67-58.

In an interesting strategic decision, Milwaukee decided to face-guard Steph Curry all the way up to the half-court line when he did not have the ball.

It forced Curry into a decision, where he could either scratch and claw to try and play his usual game, or he could drag his defender out to near half-court, allowing his team-mates to play four-on-four with plenty of extra space.

Curry finished with only seven field goal attempts – his first game this season with less than 10 – but had eight assists, and opened up the game for Thompson and Jordan Poole to dominate.

Thompson finished with a season-high 38 points (15-24 from the field, 8-14 from three), while Poole collected an efficient 30 (9-16 from the field, 5-10 from three, 7-7 from the line).

It was also yet another glimpse of what the seventh overall pick of the 2021 NBA Draft, Jonathan Kuminga, could look like when he is fully formed as the 19-year-old scored 14 points and grabbed 11 rebounds, spending long periods of the game holding up defensively against Giannis Antetokounmpo.

Antetokounmpo was the sole bright spot for Milwaukee, scoring 31 points (9-17 from the field, 12-18 from the line) to go with his eight rebounds. 

 

Stephen Curry said "I'm going to enjoy it for sure" after surpassing 20,000 career NBA points in the Golden State Warriors' defeat of the Denver Nuggets on Thursday.

The superstar shooter needed 28 to reach the milestone and finished with 34 in the 113-102 triumph, with 24 of those coming in a resurgent second half.

It was a textbook three-pointer from just inside the midcourt logo at the end of the third quarter that brought up the latest achievement, the shot measuring in at an impressive 33 feet.

Consequently, Curry becomes the 49th player in NBA history to rack up 20,000 points and Antawn Jamison (20,042) and Tom Chambers (20,049) are within his sights in the coming days on the all-time highest scorers list.

Curry intends to celebrate the latest impressive addition to a career resume that includes three NBA titles and two MVP accolades.

"A wise man once said 'celebrate all the little moments that happen','" Curry said. 

"I've done something that only 48 other people have done at this level and that's pretty crazy. I'm going to enjoy it for sure.

"This whole year has kinda been a steady reminder of just how blessed I am to play this game at the highest level, to be healthy, still enjoy the game and still love what I do. 

"I don't see that changing any time soon but also, just a reminder that all the work you put in, everybody that helped you get to this point.

"Any accomplishment that you do, whether individually or as a team, is special. You work every day to keep getting better. The longer you stay at this level good things will continue to happen. 

"I've been blessed to play this game and do it with some amazing people with hopefully a lot more to come. It's pretty special for sure."

The Warriors sit fourth in the Western Conference with a 45-22 record and face defending NBA champions the Milwaukee Bucks on Saturday.

The Brooklyn Nets silenced the Philadelphia crowd that came to jeer Ben Simmons on his return to the Wells Fargo Center in a surprise blowout 129-100 win over the 76ers on Thursday.

Kevin Durant top scored with 25 points along with 14 rebounds and seven assists, while Seth Curry – who was also involved in last month's trade which saw Simmons and James Harden swapped sides – added 24 points with five steals.

Kyrie Irving landed five three-pointers for his 22 points along with five assists, while Harden endured a difficult night against his former teammates.

Harden only managed 11 points, shooting three-of-17 from the field, with six rebounds and five assists. Joel Embiid had 27 points with 12 rebounds for the 76ers.

Simmons did not play, sitting on the Nets bench and enduring boos, but his teammates did their best to silence the home crowd by opening up a 21-point half-time lead.

The win boosted the Nets' playoffs hopes, improving their record to 34-33, while the 76ers are third in the east with a 40-25 record.

 

Curry reaches milestone in GSW win

Stephen Curry reached 20,000 career NBA points as the Golden State Warriors reaffirmed their top three status in the west with a 113-102 win over the Denver Nuggets.

The Nuggets, playing their fourth game in five days, led by 14 points in third quarter but fell away, with Nikola Jokic (23 points, 12 rebounds and nine assists) entering foul trouble.

Curry finished with a game-high 34 points including three three-pointers, shooting 11-of-21 from the field, while Jordan Poole drained two clutch triples in the final minute as the Warriors went on a late 13-0 run. 

The win makes it back-to-back victories for Golden State who improve to 45-22 after recent wobbly form, while the Nuggets are 40-27 with their four-game winning run ended. 

Klay Thompson realised a dream as he shared the court with Will Ferrell before the Golden State Warriors beat the Los Angeles Clippers on Tuesday.

Ferrell warmed up with the Warriors dressed in a Jackie Moon outfit from the film Semi-Pro that he starred in for the 2008 movie.

Five-time NBA All-Star Thompson never grew tired of watching the film during a long rehabilitation from major knee and Achilles surgeries.

Ferrell might be cast for another appearance at Chase Center after Golden State snapped a five-game losing streak with a commanding 112-97 victory.

Thompson, who scored 20 points and claimed five rebounds, dressed as Moon for Halloween three years ago and was pinching himself after Ferrell helped the Warriors stop the rot.

He said: "When I had some dark days, I would put that movie on, and it would make me smile. I'm very thankful for that film.''

He added: "That was so cool. Dreams do come true."

Warriors head coach Steve Kerr felt Ferrell's presence would lighten the mood after such a poor run.

"He actually emailed me a while back and I didn't believe it was him," Kerr said. "So, we exchanged a couple of emails and concocted a plan.

"You know he is a huge Klay Thompson fan, and he knows how much Klay loves dressing up as Jackie Moon, so it felt like a natural fit and it felt like the time to do it, too – make everyone laugh in a tough stretch in the season and he was great.

"He came into the locker room and made the guys laugh. Everybody loved seeing him and hearing from him. He's hilarious. It was just something different."

Warriors star Stephen Curry, who passed Chris Mullin for the most steals in the franchise's history, said of Ferrell's presence: "It was fun, and I'm glad we took advantage of it.

"I think we fed off the energy. I was actually surprised, his form, he actually had some good rotation on the ball, and endless energy. I don't know how."

Kyrie Irving scored a season-high 50 points to help snap the Brooklyn Nets' four-game losing run with a 132-121 victory over the Charlotte Hornets on Tuesday.

Kevin Durant took a backseat to Irving's "master class", as the Nets point guard hit nine three-pointers, shooting at 79 percent from the floor, making 15-of-19.

Irving scored 30 points in the second half, with his Nets teammates contributing 33, helping them claim their fourth win from their past 21 games.

The 29-year-old became one of 22 players in NBA history with five 50-point games, along with becoming the second guard – behind Michal Jordan - in NBA history to have multiple 50-point games while shooting 75 percent or better from the floor.

Durant added 14 points with three rebounds and seven assists while Andre Drummond had 20 points with 14 rebounds.

 

Giannis stars as champions win fifth straight

Giannis Antetokounmpo scored 39 points, shooting 13-of-19 including four-of-four from beyond the arc, as the Milwaukee Bucks crushed the Oklahoma City Thunder 142-115 for their fifth straight win. Khris Middleton added 25 points while Bobby Portis had 18 points with 14 rebounds.

Devin Booker was still out but the Phoenix Suns triumphed after a late Mikal Bridges block in a 102-99 win over the Orlando Magic. Deandre Ayton had 21 points with 19 rebounds for the Suns.

Ja Morant scored 24 points with eight rebounds and eight assists as the Memphis Grizzlies downed the New Orleans Pelicans 132-111, while Darius Garland became the fourth player in Cleveland Cavaliers history with 40 points and 10 assists in a game (41 and 13) as they won 127-124 over the Indiana Pacers.

 

Splash brothers shooting off

The Golden State Warriors' splash brothers, Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson only managed a combined three-of-15 from beyond the arc but they snapped their five-game skid with a 112-97 win over the Los Angeles Clippers. Curry and Thompson finished with 15 and 20 points respectively, while Reggie Jackson struggled with two-of-14 shooting for the Clippers.

Steve Kerr believes Nikola Jokic should win a second consecutive NBA MVP award after seeing the superstar center take apart his Golden State Warriors team.

Jokic finished with 32 points, 15 rebounds and 13 assists in the Denver Nuggets' 131-124 defeat of the Warriors.

It was a second straight triple-double and league-leading 18th of the season for the Serbian, who also tops the charts for double-doubles (52).

The Nuggets are missing Jamal Murray and Michael Porter Jr. due to injury, but Jokic's 25.9 points, 13.8 rebounds and 8.1 assists per game have them sixth in the West – now just four games back on the Warriors, who have lost five straight.

Golden State have allowed 122.6 points per game across that losing run – the third-most in the league in that time – and Kerr was not surprised to see them punished by Jokic. The Warriors had rested Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and Andrew Wiggins.

"You score 124, you shoot 51 per cent, you make 17 threes, you're usually going to win," Kerr said.

"But we're playing against the reigning MVP, who probably should win it again. I don't have a vote, but Jokic is just an unbelievable player. He was spectacular tonight.

"He makes all of his team-mates better, he makes defense so difficult, because no matter what you do he's got a counter for it, and he's playing the game at such an easy pace. Things look so smooth for him out there.

"With our defense coming into this game already struggling, he's a tough guy to face when you're not already well connected at that end of the floor."

All-Star Draymond Green has revealed he is targeting a return to the NBA next week after being sidelined since January with a lower back injury.

Green has not played for the Golden State Warriors since January 9, with the side struggling recently, losing nine of their past 11 games.

The 32-year-old four-time All-Star revealed that he was hoping to play next week when the Warriors face the Washington Wizards.

"Next Monday, the 14th, against the Wizards. That is the date I am targeting," Green said on his podcast 'The Draymond Green Show'.

"I am excited as hell. It's been two and a half months, almost ... I have never missed that much time during the season ... this is something different for me. I am extremely excited to get back out there with my guys to try right this ship."

Green was absent as the Warriors lost 131-124 to the Denver Nuggets on Monday, marking their fifth straight defeat.

The game was a catch-up fixture rearranged from December 30 due to COVID-19, which left Warriors head coach Steve Kerr frustrated, particularly with another game on Tuesday against the Los Angeles Clippers.

"It puts us in a way tougher spot than them," Kerr told reporters pre-game. "We had to fly here again. They didn't have to make an extra trip.

"They've got to play a back-to-back, I know. This was just another in many, many games rescheduled around the league that are inconvenient for everybody, but necessary to keep the league going, so you just do what you have to do."

On Green's progress, Kerr added: "He's had about a week, week and a half of being on the court almost every day, getting a lot of shots up, scrimmaging. He's feeling a lot better and coming along."

The Philadelphia 76ers maintained their perfect record with James Harden in the side with a 121-106 win over the slumping Chicago Bulls on Monday.

Joel Embiid scored 43 points with 14 rebounds while Harden had 16 points, eight rebounds and 14 assists as the 76ers made it six wins from their past seven games.

The 76ers are also 5-0 with Harden in the side, while the Bulls have lost their past five games.

Embiid recorded his 10th 40-plus point game this season, along with his 10th game this season with 40 or more points and 10 or more rebounds. The 76ers center also had his fourth quarter for the season with at least 15 points and five rebounds, which is an NBA high.

For the Bulls, All-Star DeMar DeRozan had 23 points, 11 rebounds and eight assists, while Zach LaVine added 24 points.

 

Jokic records 18th triple-double

Nikola Jokic backed up Sunday's 46-point haul with another triple-double as the Denver Nuggets defeated the short-handed Golden State Warriors 131-124. Jokic had his 18th triple-double of the season by three-quarter time and finished with 32 points, 15 rebounds and 13 assists. The Warriors, who rested Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and Andrew Wiggins in the catch-up game, have lost nine of their past 11 games.

Luka Doncic scored 35 points, with 16 rebounds and seven assists in a tense game, where the All-Star received a technical foul, as the Dallas Mavericks won 111-103 over the Utah Jazz. Doncic's game marked his third this season where he has scored 35 or more points and 15 or more rebounds, with Oscar Robertson the only other guard to achieve the feat in a single season.

Victor Oladipo returned for the first time since April last year for the Miami Heat scoring 11 points in 15 minutes as they beat the Houston Rockets 123-106, while top draft pick Cade Cunningham (28 points and 10 assists) lifted the Detroit Pistons to an over-time win over the Atlanta Hawks 113-110.

 

Spurs equals record as Lakers slump

San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich tied Don Nelson's all-time NBA record for most coaching wins (1,335) as they won 117-110 over the Los Angeles Lakers without LeBron James. Russell Westbrook struggled in James' absence, with 17 points shooting five-of-14 from the field with five turnovers.

Stephen Curry acknowledges things are "rough right now" for the Golden State Warriors, with time running out to fix their form before the playoffs as rival superstars continue to capitalise.

LeBron James put up 56 points as the Los Angeles Lakers handed the Warriors their fourth straight loss and eighth in 10 games.

The Warriors had won nine in a row prior to that run but have now slipped to 43-21 and third place in the West.

Saturday's 124-116 defeat followed a familiar, frustrating theme, according to Curry, whose 30 points paled next to James' efforts.

His 56 were the most by any opposition player against the Warriors this season, meaning three of the top four such performances have come in their past three games.

Luka Doncic had 41 for the Dallas Mavericks against the Warriors, while Karl-Anthony Towns scored 39 for the Minnesota Timberwolves.

"Obviously LeBron played amazing, he hit some tough shots and we've got to acknowledge that, for sure, but we still had some self-inflicted wounds," Curry said.

"That's tough when you're trying to get out of a hole. We're bringing the right energy, it's just IQ, effort plays, simple breakdowns and obviously boxing out.

"It's rough right now. Keeping it plain and simple: it's rough.

"We've got to figure out how to claw our way out, because as you've seen the last four games, it's self-inflicted wounds but also guys are playing with confidence on the other end and coming at us, having not career nights but performances that are unlike the previous five games or whatever.

"You're coming in and you're giving teams confidence as well. We've got to figure that out."

Two-time MVP Curry accepted: "Right now, if the playoffs started tomorrow, we'd be in some trouble."

He added: "We know we've shown who we are, in terms of how we started the season. I feel like we can get back to that – that's the confidence that has to remain – but we cannot give in to this losing spirit of just finding different ways to lose basketball games.

"The clock will tick out on you and you'll go into the summer thinking what could have been, should have been, have regrets. I don't want to let us get into that vibe.

"What are there, 18 games left? We have to figure out how to turn things around pretty quick."

"There's no words" for LeBron James' brilliance after his 56-point haul in the Los Angeles Lakers' 124-116 win over the Golden State Warriors, according to head coach Frank Vogel.

James almost single-handedly hauled the Lakers over the line, rallying from a half-time deficit with a 35-22 fourth quarter to end their four-game losing run.

The four-time NBA MVP's 56 points was his most as a Laker and tied for the third most in a single game in his storied 19-year career.

James labelled it a "desperation" win after the game, shooting 19-of-31 from the field along with six-of-11 from beyond the arc, with 10 rebounds and three assists.

“There’s no words for it," Vogel told reporters after the game. "An incredible performance by the best to ever do it in my opinion."

James' 56-point haul meant he became the fourth player aged 37 or older to score 50 or more points in a single game, alongside Michael Jordan (2001), Kobe Bryant (2016) and Jamal Crawford (2019).

"It's just remarkable, his will," Vogel added. "What he's done to transition his game to this stage of his career, in terms of his shooting, it's an example to every player to put the work into his craft.

"it's just remarkable to be doing it at this stage in his career."

Warriors head coach Steve Kerr added: “He was brilliant tonight. LeBron was amazing."

The win improves the Lakers' record to 28-35, sitting ninth in the Western Conference ahead of the final stretch of games before the playoffs.

"It feels like earlier in the season when we first lost Anthony [Davis], we lost five in a row, we were in an adjustment phase and trying to figure it out," Vogel said. "Hopefully this is the win that changes that momentum."

LeBron James inspired the Los Angeles Lakers to end their four-game losing run with 56 points in a 124-116 win over the Golden State Warriors on Saturday.

James' 56-point haul was his most as a Laker and also meant he became the fourth player aged 37 or older to score 50 or more points in a game, alongside Michael Jordan (2001), Kobe Bryant (2016) and Jamal Crawford (2019).

The four-time NBA MVP made 19-of-31 from the field along with six-of-11 from beyond the arc, while he dished off three assists, including a key late pass for Carmelo Anthony's three-pointer. James also had 10 rebounds.

Russell Westbrook added 20 points for the Lakers, while Stephen Curry scored 30 points including four three-pointers for Golden State.

The result snaps the Lakers' skid and improves their record to 28-13, but it leaves the Warriors having lost four in a row, while they have only won twice in their past 10.

 

Harden absent as Heat move clear

Eastern Conference leaders Miami Heat made a statement with a 99-82 victory over the Philadelphia 76ers who were missing James Harden. The 76ers, playing on back-to-back nights, managed Harden's left hamstring complaint. Tyler Herro and Jimmy Butler scored 21 points each as the Heat moved three games clear of the east's second-placed 76ers. Joel Embiid had 22 points and 15 rebounds for the 76ers.

Karl-Anthony Towns scored 36 points with 15 rebounds and five assists as the Minnesota Timberwolves won 135-121 over the Portland Trail Blazers. Emerging star Anfernee Simons had 38 points for the Blazers.

Ja Morant scored 25 points with seven assists as the Memphis Grizzlies continued their strong run with a 124-96 win over the Orlando Magic. Desmond Bane added 24 points with 10-of-15 shooting.

 

Kings blew big lead against Mavs

The Sacramento Kings blew a 19-point lead as they lost 114-113 to the Dallas Mavericks who were without All-Star Luka Doncic with a toe strain. Dorian Finney-Smith hit a three-pointer with 3.3 seconds left, while Spencer Dinwiddie scored a season-high 36 points. De'Aaron Fox had an equal career-high 44 points for the Kings.

Kevin Durant returned from injury with 31 points but the Brooklyn Nets' struggles continued with a 113-107 defeat to the Miami Heat.

Durant had missed the past 21 games due to an MCL sprain sustained on January 16, with the Nets going 5-16 in his absence, and they led by 16 points in the first half upon his return, but could not sustain it.

The 2014 NBA MVP had a three-point attempt with 57 seconds left which would have put the Nets in the lead but he missed and the Heat scored from the ensuing possession via Bam Adebayo.

Adebayo finished the game with 30 points, 11 rebounds and six assists, while Tyler Herro came off the bench to contribute 27 points, four rebounds and eight assists.

Durant shot 10-of-21 from the field for his 31 points, including two three-pointers, with four rebounds and four assists.

The result leaves the Nets at 32-32 with a .500 record, while the Heat are top of the Eastern Conference with a 42-22 record.

 

Tatum leads Celtics final-quarter charge

The Boston Celtics continued their strong form as Jayson Tatum scored 21 of his 37 points in the fourth quarter in a 120-107 victory over the Memphis Grizzlies. Ja Morant maintained his own hot streak, with 38 points, four rebounds and seven assists.

Luka Doncic produced a dominant display with 41 points, 10 rebounds and nine assists as the Dallas Mavericks beat the Golden State Warriors for the second time in five days, 122-113. Stephen Curry managed 21 points with nine assists for the Warriors who have lost seven of their past 10 games.

The Chicago Bulls suffered their third straight defeat with Trae Young scored 39 points with 13 assists as the Atlanta Hawks won 130-124.

 

Struggling Lakers beaten by Clippers

The Los Angeles Lakers slumped to their fourth consecutive loss going down to the Los Angeles Clippers 132-111 after being blown apart in a 40-18 third quarter. LeBron James shot eight-of-18 from the field for his 26 points with four turnovers, while Reggie Jackson scored 36 points for the Clippers.

Stephen Curry says the Golden State Warriors "have to be more in sync as a five-man unit" after going down to the Minnesota Timberwolves on Tuesday.

The Warriors hold the second-best record in the NBA at 43-19 but their 129-114 reverse was a sixth defeat in eight games for Steve Kerr's out-of-sorts team.

Warriors head coach Steve Kerr said he saw a "breakdown in our connection" against the Timberwolves, a fact that perhaps should not be altogether too surprising.

Draymond Green has missed 24 straight games, while Andre Iguodala has been absent for 15 of the past 16. Superstar Klay Thompson returned from two straight serious injuries on January 9 but has restrictions on his minutes.

Moses Moody started in place of Thompson against the Timberwolves only to suffer an eye injury and exit the game in the second quarter.

The consequence has been Kerr being forced to mix up his starting five, and Curry concedes the chemistry is not quite there for the Warriors.

"We have a lot of different rotations and lineups and we try to make adjustments on the fly. We have to be more in sync as a five-man unit," Curry said.

"We've had a lot of shuffling. It's not an excuse for how we're playing, but we are built as a full team. And until we get that, I'm not sure if we'll see our full ceiling, but we have to do the little things in the meantime to keep building confidence.

"I'm just trying to stay patient in terms of where we are in the season and what we are trying to do in a month and a half."

The Warriors have the opportunity to return to winning ways when they visit the Dallas Mavericks on Thursday.

Luka Doncic stepped up to help the Dallas Mavericks recover and overcome the Los Angeles Lakers 109-104 in Tuesday's topsy-turvy encounter.

The Mavericks blew a 21-point lead in the space of 12 minutes spanning half-time at Crypto.com Arena and trailed 100-94 with seven minutes to play.

But 11 consecutive points ensured Jason Kidd's side claimed an eighth win in 10 outings, while the out-of-form Lakers slid to a season-worst seven games below .500.

While not at his best, Doncic led the scoring for the Mavericks with 25 points – seven of those in the final quarter – as he went 9 of 21.

LeBron James scored 26 points for the Lakers and Carmelo Anthony had 20, but it was not enough to prevent the hosts from tasting a sixth loss in seven outings.

 


Timberwolves inflict another defeat on Warriors

The Golden State Warriors (43-19) have the second-best record in NBA, but they lost for a sixth time in eight games with a 129-114 loss to the Minnesota Timberwolves.

Karl-Anthony Towns had 39 points and nine rebounds, while going 14 for 22 from the floor, as the Timberwolves made it back-to-back victories.

"We're going to be fine long-term. I'm excited about our team and excited about where we can go, but we've just got to weather this storm," Warriors coach Steve Kerr said.


Clippers' run goes on, Nets downed by Raptors

The Los Angeles Clippers beat the Houston Rockets 113-100 thanks to Ivica Zubac's 22 points and 12 rebounds for their fourth win in a row as they went 33-31 for the season.

Elsewhere on Tuesday, the struggling Brooklyn Nets lost to the Toronto Raptors for a second time in two days, going down 109-108 in a tight contest at Scotiabank Arena.

Jayson Tatum's 33 points, eight rebounds and seven assists inspired the Boston Celtics to a 107-98 win against the Atlanta Hawks, while the Washington Wizards beat the Detroit Pistons 116-113.

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