Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : January 31st 2014 Contents A48
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Friday, January 31, 2014
MIAMI --- Kevin Durant scored
33 points and Serge Ibaka added
22 as the Oklahoma City Thunder
came back from 18 points down
to beat the Miami Heat 112-95 on
Wednesday for their ninth straight
Jeremy Lamb and Derek Fisher
came off the bench to score a com-
bined 33 more for the Thunder.
Durant scored at least 30 points for
the 12th straight game, matching
the league s longest such streak
since Tracy McGrady did it in 14
consecutive outings in the 2002-
Miami led 22-4, and then got
outscored 87-53 in the next 2½
LeBron James scored 34 for the
Heat, with Chris Bosh adding 18
and Dwyane Wade 15.
Philadelphia s Evan Turner sank
a layup at the final buzzer to lift
the 76ers past the Boston Celtics
The 76ers rebounded the ball
after Kris Humphries missed a
jumper with 12 seconds left. They
hurried upcourt and Turner released
his shot just in time to give the
76ers only their third win in 13
The Celtics lost for the 19th time
in 22 games and dropped behind
the 76ers in the standings by one
At Milwaukee, Goran Dragic
scored 30 points, including 13 in
the fourth quarter despite sustaining
an apparent injury to his left elbow,
as the Phoenix Suns beat the Bucks
Gerald Green scored 23 and Mar-
cus Morris had 16 points off the
bench for the Suns, who have won
the first three games of a four-game
Dragic hit the floor hard after a
late foul by Larry Sanders, but was
able to stay in the game --- and keep
scoring. But he was on the bench
with a wrap on his left elbow in
the closing minutes, and was
escorted to the locker room with
52 seconds remaining.
The Timberwolves beat the New
Orleans Pelicans 88-77 after Kevin
Love had 30 points and 14 rebounds
to finally carry Minnesota over the
.500 mark for the season.
Kevin Martin added 18 points on
7-of-18 shooting and six boards for
the Timberwolves in their first game
without centre Nikola Pekovic, who
is expected to miss at least a week
with bursitis in his right ankle. They
still managed to get over .500 after
failing in their previous 10 chances
to do so.
Kyle Lowry had a season-high
33 points and 11 assists for the
Toronto Raptors in a 98-83 win
over the Orlando Magic, while
Chandler Parsons scored 26 points
as the Houston Rockets beat a Texas
rival for the second straight day
without James Harden, 117-115 over
In other games, the Charlotte
Bobcats edged the Denver Nuggets
101-98, the Chicago Bulls downed
the San Antonio Spurs 98-86, the
Memphis Grizzlies beat the Sacra-
mento Kings 99-89 and the Los
Angeles Clippers were 110-103 win-
ners over the Washington Wizards.
OAKLAND --- The debate about whether the Golden
State Warriors and Los Angeles Clippers are growing
into unlikely California rivals might just be a matter
Call it what you want.
On the court, there s no denying the players don t
like each other.
The Pacific Division-leading Clippers visited the
Warriors last night for the first time since Golden
State s win on Christmas featured two ejections, two
flagrant fouls, three technical fouls, countless elbows
and constant chatter.
"It s not a rivalry. We don t have bad blood," Warriors
coach Mark Jackson insisted after practice Wednesday,
doing his best to downplay the rematch. "In this league,
when you re competing and teams are getting after it
and you re jockeying for playoff position in your same
division, it makes it exciting. We embrace it. They
Golden State s marketing team is sure trying to cap-
italise on the game.
On Wednesday, the team s Web site directed visitors
to a preview page with the headline: "Battle for the
Pacific." It also touted the game as "the season s final
appearance of the division rival Clippers."
That nobody can agree on what to make of this
revitalised series only speaks to how quickly it has
blossomed even more. The physical play from both
sides, though, has really said it all.
The games have grown increasingly testy the past
two seasons as the franchises have transformed from
perennial losers into Western Conference contenders.
The most spirited meeting might have been the last
one, a 105-103 win for the Warriors on December 25
that left plenty of aches and accusations afterward.
Officials called a flagrant foul 2 on Warriors reserve
Draymond Green for elbowing Clippers star Blake
Griffin in the face while setting a screen near half court
at the end of the third quarter. That earned Green an
automatic ejection, and the NBA fined him $15,000
for failing to leave the court in a timely manner.
Griffin received a technical foul for jawing with
Green, and he was ejected for his second technical
with 10:43 remaining after scuffling with Warriors
centre Andrew Bogut of Australia, who grabbed Griffin
by the shirt and began wrestling with him when the
two got tangled up going for a rebound.
Bogut was whistled for a flagrant foul and a technical.
The NBA said the following day that Griffin should
have received a common foul and not a technical.
Griffin accused Golden State of playing "cowardly
basketball." Clippers coach Doc Rivers was equally irri-
tated, cleverly saying he thought the Warriors tried to
get Griffin thrown out.
About the only thing everybody involved can agree
on is that the series can t truly be a rivalry until both
teams compete for the division title or meet in the
playoffs --- or both --- on a more consistent basis.
Warriors, Clippers growing into testy matchup
Thunder erases early
18-point hole to cool Heat
Oklahoma City Thunder power forward Serge Ibaka (9) scores against
the Miami Heat during the first quarter of an NBA basketball game in
Miami, Wednesday. The Thunder won 112-95. AP PHOTO
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