Westbrook’s triple-double lifts Thunder

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OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Russell Westbrook once again did a little bit of everything for the Thunder.

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He finished Friday night with 26 points, 14 assists and 10 rebounds, basketball jerseys cheap his sixth triple-double of the season, the third in his past nine games and the 25th of the Oklahoma City point guard’s career.

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It also was the seventh time in nine games Westbrook has had 10 or more assists as the Thunder took cheap jerseys advantage of center Dwight Howard’s ejection and beat the Houston Rockets Jerseys 116-108.

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”It’s part of my job, man,” Westbrook said. ”Just trying to find guys, getting the ball where they can score, keep the pace up.”

Howard was ejected in the third quarter after picking up his second technical foul. Kanter scored 20 of his 22 points after that to help the Thunder gain control.

”Obviously, when you lose a guy of that caliber wholesale nba jerseys, they’ve got a guy they can counter with with Kanter, who’s a really good low-post scorer,” Houston interim coach J.B. Bickerstaff said. ”With Dwight in there, we can shut that down. He can guard guys one-on-one in the post. Kanter was able to get it going a little bit after Dwight went out.”

Kevin Durant had 33 basketball jerseys cheap points and 12 rebounds for the Thunder, who have won 10 of 11 and six straight at home.

James Harden had 33 points, seven rebounds and seven assists, but he made just 2 of 10 field goals in the second half. Corey Brewer added 17 points for the Rockets, who shot 38 percent overall and made just 9 of 39 3-pointers and 27 of 43 free throws.

”They want to shoot threes and get layups, and I think we closed all of that off tonight,” Durant said. ”We were there on the catch for them guys and we didn’t just let them play freely. When we do that, we’re a scary team.”

Bickerstaff said shots simply weren’t falling.

”We’ve got to take those shots with confidence and we believe in the guys that are taking those shots,” he said. ”Tonight they didn’t go. The past few weeks they’ve been falling and they’ll go again. Guys work on it. They’ve got to trust their training, shoot them with confidence and we’ll get them.”

The Rockets led 58-55 at halftime. They led by as many as 12 points in the second quarter, but Howard made just 2 of 9 free throws in the period to help the Thunder creep back into the game.

Howard was ejected with 7:06 left in the third quarter – Bickerstaff said after the game he was told it was for something Howard said. The Thunder finally took the lead on a putback by Kanter, and a dunk by Durant on an assist from Westbrook put Oklahoma City ahead 80-76. The Thunder led 89-83 at the end of the third quarter. View gallery OKLAHOMA CITY, OK- JANUARY 29: Russell Westbrook #0 of the Oklahoma City Thunder Jerseys goes up for a dunk …

Westbrook got his triple-double on an assist to Kyle Singler, who scored and was fouled. Singler’s free throw put Oklahoma City ahead 101-92.

NOT FREE

Howard missed 11 free throws in the game, despite leaving early. DeAndre Jordan of the Los Angeles Clippers Jerseys and Andre Drummond of the Detroit Pistons Jerseys are the only players in the league to have missed more than 11 free throws in any game this season. Drummond has done it three times and Jordan twice.

QUOTABLE

Kanter on Thunder’s emphasis on defense: ”We’ve been talking about it this morning, the day before, the day before and the day before, we’ve been talking about defense.”

STAT LINES

Oklahoma City improved to 21-4 all-time when Westbrook gets a triple-double.

TIP-INS

Rockets: Harden, a former Thunder player, was booed loudly during pregame introductions. … Howard’s first technical came after he put Singler in a headlock during a battle for a rebound in the second quarter. … Howard finished with eight points and eight rebounds in 21 minutes.

Thunder: Houston Astros pitcher Dallas Keuchel Jerseys was in the crowd. He is from Tulsa, Oklahoma. … Cameron Payne (concussion) and Andre Roberson (right knee sprain) did not play. … Dion Waiters, who started in Roberson’s place, got a technical in the final seconds of the third quarter. He finished with 16 points. … Oklahoma City scored at least 100 points for the seventh straight game. … Steven Adams and Kanter each had 10 rebounds.

UP NEXT

Rockets: Host Wizards on Saturday.

Thunder: Host Wizards on Monday.Sports & RecreationBasketballDwight HowardOklahoma CityRussell WestbrookHouston Rockets Jerseys

Cavs bounce back after LeBron rebuke

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Los Angeles (AFP) – LeBron James scored 25 points as the Cleveland Cavaliers Jerseys bounced back from their shock defeat to the Memphis Grizzlies Jerseys with a 120-111 victory over the Sacramento Kings on Wednesday.

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James had been scathing in his assessment of the Cavaliers’ readiness for the play-offs after Monday’s upset loss to Memphis, warning that his team were a long way from postseason form.

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However the Cavs made sure there was no repeat defeat against Sacramento, who remain in the lower reaches of the Western Conference with a lot of ground to make up if they are to force their way into the play-offs.

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Kyrie Irving top scored for the Cavaliers, while James also finished with 11 rebounds and six assists to go with his 25-point haul.

The key moment came when Kevin Love drained a crucial three-pointer late in the fourth quarter before drawing a foul.

Love converted the four-point play to give Cleveland wholesale jerseys a seven-point lead with 1:32 left that they never looked like relinquishing as they held on to win and improve their record to 45-18. View gallery Oklahoma City Thunder Jerseys overcame the absence of Dion Waiters (L) after the tragic death of his brother …

Tristan Thompson also chipped in with 18 points and 15 rebounds as Cleveland went 2 1/2 games clear of the Toronto Raptors Jerseys at the head of the Eastern Conference.

– Quiet Curry night –

In Oakland meanwhile, Stephen Curry had a relatively low-scoring night cheap basketball jerseys but still managed to produce some game-changing long-range magic with team-mate Klay Thompson to help the Golden State Warriors pull clear of the Utah Jazz Jerseys in a 115-94 victory — their 46th consecutive home win.

Curry, who finished with 12 points, and Thompson (23 points) both produced three-pointers in the final 58 seconds of the second quarter which helped the Warriors take cheap nba jerseys a stranglehold on the contest.

Utah had remained firmly in the hunt heading towards half-time with the Warriors — who are now 56-6 — holding a slender 43-41 lead. View gallery The Thunder looked to their linchpins Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant (L) to provide leadership a …

But Curry connected with a three-pointer from halfway and Thompson sank another basket from 29 feet which suddenly put the Warriors eight points clear.

Oklahoma City Thunder Jerseys meanwhile overcame the absence of Dion Waiters after the tragic death of his brother to romp past the Los Angeles Clippers with a 120-108 victory.

Waiters’ 21-year-old sibling Demetrius Pinckney was found dead in Philadelphia on Tuesday night in what is being investigated by police as a homicide.

It was the latest dark turn to the Thunder’s season after assistant coach Monty Williams’ wife was killed in a car crash last month.

Part owner Aubrey McClendon also lost his life in a car accident on March 2. On Wednesday the Thunder looked to their linchpins Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant to provide leadership and both stars duly delivered.

Westbrook finished with 25 points, 20 assists and 11 rebounds to complete his 11th triple double of the season.

Durant meanwhile scored 30 and piled up 12 rebounds for the Thunder, his fourth straight game of scoring at least 30 points and 10 rebounds.

The victory was sweet revenge for the Thunder, who last week had squandered a 17-point lead in a defeat against the Clippers.

“We knew we could beat this team,” Durant said. “We knew a week ago we threw it cheap basketball jerseys away. We got great shots and we defended as well (tonight),” Durant said.

“This team is really good at getting back into the game, but we gave them that last game. Tonight we took it.”BasketballSports & RecreationCleveland Cavaliers JerseysLeBron JamesStephen CurryMemphis Grizzlies JerseysSacramento KingsTristan ThompsonGolden State Warriors

Curry leads Warriors to 50th win, 102-92 over Hawks

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ATLANTA (AP) — The Golden State Warriors Jerseys reached 50 wins faster than any team in NBA history.

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With their eyes on more than regular-season records, the Warriors improved to 50-5 as Stephen Curry scored 36 points and Golden State bounced back after squandering a 23-point lead to beat the Atlanta Hawks Jerseys 102-92 on Monday night.

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The Warriors eclipsed the mark set by the 1995-96 Chicago Bulls Jerseys, who needed one more game to win their 50th. Of course, that’s the team Golden State is chasing, moving another step closer to the record 72-10 mark put up by Michael Jordan & Co. at the height of their six-titles-in-eight-years dynasty.

”Fifty wins is great,” Curry said, ”but we’ve got to keep plugging away and staying hungry, because nobody wants to talk about that in June.”

Curry and the defending NBA champions appeared headed for a rout against the struggling Hawks, pushing out to a 70-47 lead approaching the midway point of the third quarter. Atlanta closed the period on a 28-6 run and grabbed the lead briefly early in the fourth, igniting the sellout crowd.

But the Warriors would not be denied cheap jerseys, bouncing back to hand the Hawks their fourth straight home nba jerseys cheap loss.

”I liked our response,” coach Steve Kerr said. ”They were on fire in their home building. Everything was going against us, and we maintained our poise and pulled away down the stretch. It was a really good win.”

Klay Thompson added 27 points for the Warriors. Both he and Curry knocked down five shots from 3-point range. Draymond Green didn’t do much offensively, scoring only six nba jerseys cheap points, but he had 14 rebounds and nine assists.

Al Horford led the Hawks with 23 points.

”The third quarter is something we can hopefully build off of,” said Atlanta coach Mike Budenholzer, whose team had the top record in the Eastern Conference a year ago but has slipped all the way to sixth this season.

Curry put on a clinic in the first half, thoroughly dominating Hawks point guard Jeff Teague.

Perhaps the best sequence came when Curry swished a towering 3-pointer from the corner, the ball seeming to disappear into the rafters of Philips Arena at the height of its arc wholesale nba jerseys. Then, after posing briefly in front of the Golden State bench, he hustled back to the other end to draw an offensive foul on Teague, who looked befuddled by what he was seeing.

At the end of the half, with the clock running down and Teague right in his face, Curry somehow found just enough space to knock down another amazing jumper from the corner, though this one with his foot on the stripe.

Someone on the Golden State bench threw a white towel high in the air – partly to celebrate, partly in disbelief.

The Hawks could’ve thrown in the towel early in the third.

Instead, Atlanta finally showed some fight against the league’s best team, making five 3-pointers and nearly 60 percent of its shots in the period.

The Warriors regained control in the fourth, helped by Curry’s 3 that left him wiggling his shoulders in front of the Atlanta bench.

”He senses when he needs to take over,” Kerr said.

SHARING THE BALL

Golden State had 30 assists in a game for the 29th time this season, a franchise record.

The previous mark was set last season on the way to the championship.

In addition to Green’s team-high assists, Curry doled out eight, Andrew Bogut had four and Thompson chipped in with three.

”It’s a special group,” Curry said.

TIP-INS

Warriors: Improved to 45-0 when leading after the third quarter. It looked as though the Hawks would have the lead heading to the fourth, but a video review showed Thabo Sefolosha’s jumper left his hand a split-second after the clock expired, leaving Golden State ahead 76-75. … Bogut played 29 minutes with a strained right Achilles, grabbing 11 rebounds. … Newly signed Anderson Varejao watched the game from the Warriors bench but didn’t play. He was signed after being cut last week by Portland.

Hawks: Have lost four straight home games for the first time since March 21 to April 1, 2007, according to STATS. … Tim Hardaway Jr. had some effective spurts off the bench, scoring 12 points. … Atlanta made 10 of 34 from 3-point range and is 19 of 75 from beyond the arc in its last two games.

UP NEXT

Warriors: Travel to Miami to face the Heat on Wednesday.

Hawks: Host the Chicago Bulls Jerseys on Friday.

Follow Paul Newberry on Twitter at www.twitter.com/pnewberry1963 . His work can be found at http://bigstory.ap.org/content/paul-newberry .Sports & RecreationBasketballGolden State Warriors JerseysStephen CurryAtlanta Hawks JerseysChicago Bulls Jerseys

Bryant visits Golden State for last time

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OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — At every stop, in every road arena, Kobe Bryant is reflecting on 20 years of memories and many great games.

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He’s enjoying every second of this farewell ride despite all the losing, which isn’t exactly how he intended to go into retirement.

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The 37-year-old Bryant returned to Oracle Arena on Thursday night and the site of his first career 50-point game to face the defending NBA champion Golden State Warriors Jerseys.

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”It’s really cool. This has been 20 years coming,” Bryant said. ”It’s fun to go cheap nba jerseys to these arenas for the last time and be able to soak it all in and really appreciate the arenas and appreciate the fans and the players from a different perspective versus having blinders on and really just focusing on one thing.”
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During pregame introductions, the Warriors showed a tribute from Lakers Hall of Famer and Golden State executive Jerry West with a highlight video on the main scoreboard as fans in the sellout crowd – including retiring Raiders defensive back Charles Woodson Jerseys, Oakland quarterback Derek Carr Jerseys and Athletics manager Bob Melvin – chanted ”Kobe! Kobe!” before a rousing ovation when his name was called. Bryant waved wholesale jerseys, tipped his head and clapped his hands in appreciation.

In honor of Bryant’s five NBA titles, the Warriors gifted him with a five-day Napa Valley vacation with five wineries and five restaurants included. He also received a five-liter bottle from Amuse Bouche winery featuring a special label with his jersey.

Bryant received many a hug at midcourt from the Warriors beforehand. He started despite a nagging sore right shoulder and a right Achilles strain, and made his first shot.

”He was fixated in not having a career. He was fixated on having an incredible career,” West said in a pregame news conference, recalling the first workout Bryant went through 20 years ago at age 17.

”For someone that age, it was remarkable the skill, the love that he had for the game and the desire to excel. The one thing that was very evident to me right away, this was a player at 17 years old I had never seen someone with the skill that he had.”

Interim Warriors coach Luke Walton won’t get ahead of himself and think about the chance to coach Bryant in his All-Star Game finale next month, though Walton knows that would be a blast – noting, ”I’m not even really a real coach. I have zero wins.”

Bryant left a lasting impression on Walton with his grit to play no matter what body part was hurting or how tired he might be, and they won two NBA championships during 8 1/2 seasons together with the Lakers.

”He was incredible. I’ve never, still to this day, ever seen anyone play through the stuff that he’s played through. Early on in my career, I would think, ‘OK, well he’s not going to be out there tonight and we have to step up and then after a while you just learn that he’s playing no matter what unless someone takes him off the court,” Walton recalled. ”There was a game he couldn’t even lift his right shoulder up above his head to shoot the ball so he started shooting it left-handed and finally that’s when Phil (Jackson) pulled him out.

”That kind of hurt a little bit that he thought him shooting left-handed 3-pointers was more effective than passing me the ball. That’s what made him such a great player.”

Bryant certainly hoped for a better showing in Oakland this time as he departs the Bay Area. In a 111-77 loss here Nov. 24, Bryant shot 1 of 14 for just four points to match the worst-shooting performance of his career in a game when he had at least one basket. Golden State set a record for the best start in NBA history that night, too, improving to 16-0 on the way to a 24-0 mark.

Yet this is also the place where Bryant produced his first career 50-point game, when he scored 51 on Dec. 6, 2000, at Oracle Arena – his highest output ever here. Golden State star Antawn Jamison also scored 51 that night in a 125-122 overtime win against the Lakers.

Whatever Bryant does next, West will remember what he brought to the game.

”He has left a legacy throughout the world. Millions of people love this guy, and millions of people will miss what he was able to accomplish in his career,” West said. ”He’s left a lot of big footprints there. I don’t see anyone there who’s going to be able to step in those footprints.”

That game is one that still sticks out in his mind, and Bryant acknowledged it has been fun to cheap nba jerseys see Golden State grow into a contender again after all the down years.

Oh, and he has no desire to face Stephen Curry and these Warriors in the playoffs. No thanks.

”No, I’m good. They play too well here. I’d rather not,” Bryant said with a grin. ”If I had to and the challenge presented itself, of course I’d rise to the challenge. If I had a choice, absolutely not. I don’t want to deal with this crowd.”Sports & RecreationBasketballKobe BryantGolden State Warriors Jerseys

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