Curry, Warriors Edge Hawks
ATLANTA (AP) — Golden State coach Steve Kerr wasn’t going to gamble on leaving Stephen Curry in a close game, even after Curry’s dramatic proof of how well he could play after turning his right ankle.
Curry scored 28 points, including 15 in the final seven minutes of the first half after returning from the ankle injury, and the Warriors beat the Atlanta Hawks 114-109 on Friday night for their fifth straight victory.
Curry turned his right ankle and left the game in the first quarter. He returned for his high-scoring second period before retreating to the locker room for good in the third — despite his objections.
“Basically their call,” Curry said. “Frustrating, but big picture, I understand. … I don’t think it’s going to be anything that will keep me out.”
Kerr said Curry was “limping a little bit” in the third quarter, leading to the “precautionary” decision to take him out of the game for good.
“He wanted to stay in but we didn’t want him to stay in just because of the potential to make it worse,” Kerr said.
Kevin Durant also had 28 points for the Warriors, who are unbeaten since the All-Star break.
Atlanta’s Dennis Schroder, who had 27 points, sank three free throws with 19 seconds remaining to cut Golden State’s lead to 111-109. Durant made only one of two free throws to push the lead to three points before Andre Iguodala’s steal from Kent Bazemore and layup clinched the win.
Raptors 102 Wizards 95
WASHINGTON (AP) — DeMar DeRozan scored 23 points, reserve CJ Miles added 20 and the Toronto Raptors beat the Washington Wizards.
The Raptors have won 10 of their last 11 games, including a season-high four straight on the road.
Miles scored 11 points in the second half and was 6 of 9 from 3-point range in the game as the Raptors’ bench outscored the Wizards’ reserves 50-15.
Jonas Valenciunas and Fred VanFleet added 12 points apiece for Toronto.
Otto Porter Jr. led Washington with 24 points on 9-of-12 shooting and Bradley Beal rebounded from an eight-point effort Wednesday against Golden State to finish with 23.
Pistons 106, OT
ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — Aaron Gordon had 27 points and 13 rebounds to help the Orlando Magic stop a seven-game losing streak with a victory against the Detroit Pistons in overtime.
Nikola Vucevic added 22 points and 12 rebounds, and D.J. Augustin had 20 points and nine assists for the Magic. Evan Fournier scored 17, including seven in the extra period.
James Ennis and Reggie Bullock led Detroit with 21 points apiece. Blake Griffin, Dwight Buycks and Anthony Tolliver had 12 each for the slumping Pistons, who have lost seven of nine.
Fournier scored the first six points in overtime, giving Orlando a 110-104 lead going into the final two minutes.
76ers 110, Hornets 99
PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Joel Embiid had 23 points and 14 rebounds to help the Philadelphia 76ers pull away from the Charlotte Hornets down the stretch in a victory.
The Sixers won their 13th straight game at the Wells Fargo Center and looked strong in the fourth quarter on the second night of a back-to-back. JJ Redick and newly signed Ersan Ilyasova scored clutch buckets in the final minutes to continue the Sixers’ late charge up the East standings.
The Sixers were coming off an impressive 108-97 win over the Cleveland Cavaliers on Thursday night that ended an 11-game losing streak against the Eastern Conference champions. Coach Brett Brown said playing the second of a back-to-back at home against a Hornets team badly in need of victories would be a nice test for the Sixers as they inch closer to their first playoff berth since 2012.
Bulls 108, Mavericks 100
CHICAGO (AP) — Bobby Portis scored 22 points and made three straight shots during the decisive run late in the fourth quarter to help the Chicago Bulls roar back and beat the Dallas Mavericks.
Portis had 15 in the second half and Chicago used a 16-4 run in the final five minutes to end a five-game losing streak.
Kris Dunn finished with 18 points and rookie Lauri Markkanen had 17 points and 12 rebounds as Chicago won for just the third time in 16 games.
Nuggets 108, Grizzlies 102
MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — Gary Harris scored 26 points, hitting a key basket with just under a minute left, and the Denver Nuggets weathered a fourth-quarter rally to beat the Memphis Grizzlies.
Harris was 11 of 18 from the field to help the Nuggets snap a two-game skid. Will Barton added 24 points, and Paul Millsap added 15 as Denver sent the Grizzlies to their 12th straight loss.
Marc Gasol led Memphis with 22 points and nine rebounds, Jarell Martin had 16 points, and Dillon Brooks 13 points.
Pacers 103, Bucks 96
MILWAUKEE (AP) — Victor Oladipo had 21 points, and the Indiana Pacers nearly blew a 17-point lead in the middle of a mistake-laden fourth quarter before holding off the Milwaukee Bucks for a win.
With his team trailing by five, Milwaukee’s Khris Middleton missed a corner 3-pointer off an inbounds play with 8.9 seconds left. Bojan Bogdanovic hit two foul shots at the other end to seal it and hand the Bucks their fourth straight loss.