Warriors rally to down Wizards as Green, Beal scuffle
The Golden State Warriors shook off an “awful” start and the ejection of Draymond Green to rally for a 120-117 NBA victory over the Washington Wizards on Friday.
The reigning NBA champion Warriors missed 17 of 20 three-point attempts in the first half and lost Green when he and Washington guard Bradley Beal got into a fight with 19.5 seconds left before the interval.
Washington pushed their lead to 18 points twice in the third quarter before the Warriors broke out for 33 points in the final period.
“We were just awful for 2 1/2 quarters,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr said. “We finally climbed back in it. It took our bench to settle us down.”
Andre Iguodala’s layup with 3:13 remaining, off a pass from Stephen Curry, put the Warriors ahead for good.
Washington had a chance to tie the game on an inbounds play with 1.1 seconds remaining, but John Wall missed a 25-foot jump shot as time expired.
Kevin Durant led the Warriors with 31 points and Curry added 20 to go with eight assists.
But the bench, with nine points from Kevon Looney, 16 from David West and eight from Omri Casspi were key.
“I just thought we got a little bit more aggressive,” West said. “We got our composure during that second half.”
Both teams had to regroup after the departures of Green and Beal who tangled after Beal appeared to slap Green after both went for a loose ball. Green tried to wrap up Beal and before they were separated Beal had Green in a headlock and both were tossed.
Green, who received his second technical for the incident, looked disgusted as he departed the court with his jersey shredded.
“I thought Draymond defended himself and bit the bullet of being ejected for the game,” West said.
Spurs lose, Knicks win
The upstart Orlando Magic handed the San Antonio Spurs a first defeat of the season, dominating the perennial contenders 114-87 in Orlando.
The Magic, paced by French forward Evan Fournier’s 25 points, got off to a quick start and never looked back. They led by 14 points after the first quarter and 27 at halftime. After leading by as many as 36 points in the third period, they were up by 31 going into the fourth.
Magic reserve Jonathon Simmons, who played in San Antonio the past two seasons, chipped in 17 points against his former team as the Magic improved to an Eastern Conference-leading 4-1.
“I thought we were sloppy, but they took us out of what we wanted to do, and they did it for 48 minutes,” Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said. “They out-played us in just about every facet of the game.”
As the Spurs digested their first defeat of the season, the New York Knicks were celebrating their first victory, a 107-86 triumph over the Brooklyn Nets.
Kristaps Porzingis scored 30 points to help the Knicks avoid their first 0-4 start since they dropped the first five games of the 2005-06 campaign – when they lost 59 games.
The third-year forward from Latvia produced his third 30-point game of the season as the Knicks bounced back from a 110-89 loss at Boston on Tuesday.
New York’s French rookie Frank
Ntilikina scored his first career points in the third quarter, finishing with nine points and five assists.
“I thought our guys helped each other out,” Knicks coach Jeff Hornacek said. “It is a continual work for us, but they showed some progress tonight.”
In Charlotte, James Harden had a triple-double of 27 points, 11 assists and 10 rebounds to lead the Houston Rockets to a 109-93 victory over the Hornets.
The Rockets connected on 22 of 57 three-point attempts, making six more three-pointers than two-pointers.
The Oklahoma City Thunder endured their third defeat in four games, falling 119-116 to the Minnesota Timberwolves.
Jimmy Butler, who missed two games with a respiratory infection, played 38 minutes and led the Timberwolves with 25 points – 13 in the fourth quarter.
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