Warriors Get 9th Straight as Durant Progresses and NBA News
(AP) — It was a pretty good Wednesday for the Golden State Warriors. They earned their ninth straight win, stretched their lead in the NBA's Western Conference and announced that one of their top players is close to returning.
The Warriors led the West by 3 ½ games over the Spurs after erasing a 22-point deficit in a 110-98 triumph at San Antonio. Stephen Curry finished with 29 points and Klay Thompson had 23 as Golden State stopped the Spurs' five-game winning streak.
Kawhi Leonard had 19 points and five assists but shot just 7-for-20 as the Spurs fell three games behind the Warriors in the loss column with eight to play.
Meanwhile, there are signs that Kevin Durant will return to Golden State's lineup before the end of the regular season.
Durant has been cleared for non-contact basketball drills, and the Warriors say he's made good progress in his recovery. He has been out since Feb. 28, when he suffered left knee and leg injuries.
Durant has averaged 25.3 points, 8.2 rebounds and 4.8 in his first season since Golden State signed him away from the Oklahoma City Thunder.
Checking out the rest of Wednesday's NBA action:
— Russell Westbrook recorded his league-leading 38th triple-double of the season in guiding Oklahoma City's 114-106 win at Orlando. Westbrook poured in 57 points and finished with 13 rebounds and 11 assists while helping the Thunder erase a 21-point deficit. He is three shy of the league record for triple-doubles in a season, set by Oscar Robertson in 1961-62.
— Gordon Hayward scored 20 points and the Northwest-leading Utah Jazz stayed 2 ½ games ahead of Oklahoma City by crushing Sacramento, 112-82. Rudy Gobert chipped in 16 points and 15 rebounds as the Jazz stayed 1 ½ games ahead of the Clippers for fourth place in the West and home-court advantage in the conference quarterfinals.
— DeAndre Jordan's 23 points and 18 rebounds helped the Clippers end Washington's four-game winning streak, 133-124. J.J. Redick was high man for Los Angeles with 31 points, Chris Paul finished with 27 and Blake Griffin had 26. John Wall scored a game-high 41 points on 16 of 23 shooting for the Southeast Division champs, who are two games behind Boston and Cleveland in the battle for the Eastern Conference lead.
— The Raptors' six-game winning streak is over after Marco Belinelli provided 21 points and Kemba Walker had 19 in Charlotte's 110-106 victory at Toronto. Walker hit two big 3-pointers in the final two minutes, including one that gave the Hornets a 104-101 lead with 37.5 seconds left.
— The Raptors are three games behind the Atlantic Division-leading Celtics with seven remaining after Giannis Antetokounmpo delivered 22 points and nine boards in Milwaukee's 103-100 win at Boston. Khris Middleton had 19 points for the Bucks, who remain in a fifth-place tie with the Hawks in the East. The Celts are four percentage points behind Cleveland for the Eastern Conference lead.
— Atlanta was a 99-92 winner at Philadelphia behind Dwight Howard's 22 points and 20 rebounds. Tim Hardaway Jr. and Kent Bazemore each scored 19 points as the Hawks won their second in a row since a seven-game losing streak.
— Goran Dragic had 20 points, nine assists and seven rebounds in Miami's 105-88 pounding of the Knicks in New York. James Johnson added 18 points off the bench to help the Heat improve to 26-8 since an 11-30 start.
— Mike Conley matched his career high with seven 3-pointers on his way to a 36-point effort in the Grizzlies' 110-97 verdict over Indiana. Vince Carter had 21 points and eight rebounds as the Grizzlies ended a four-game slide.
— Anthony Davis and DeMarcus Cousins each had double-doubles as New Orleans outscored Dallas, 121-118. Davis had 30 points, and 13 rebounds, while Cousins added 29 points and 16 boards in his first game since missing two straight with a sprained ankle.