News ID: 205575
Published: 0305 GMT December 04, 2017

Warriors ease past Heat, Rockets rout Lakers

Warriors ease past Heat, Rockets rout Lakers
Golden State Warriors forward Kevin Durant (R) dunks next to Miami Heat center Kelly Olynyk during the first quarter of an NBA basketball game in Miami on December 3, 2017.
JOE SKIPPER/AP

Stephen Curry scored 30 points in 30 minutes, Kevin Durant added 24 and the Warriors rode a big third-quarter run to pull away and beat the Miami Heat 123-95 on Sunday night.

Curry and Durant didn't even play in the fourth quarter, getting more unplanned but deserved time off, The Associated Press reported.

Golden State coach Steve Kerr gave the Warriors an unexpected day off Saturday, so they could enjoy some balmy weather and get beach time in Miami.

It energized the reigning NBA champions.

"Just needed to get some sun and hit the clubs," Kerr deadpanned, the sarcasm clear.

"That's what the coaches and I did. We were out all night."

Klay Thompson scored 19 points for the Warriors, who started the second half on an 18-3 run and outscored Miami 37-17 in the third. Golden State's lead was only two at the half, then ballooned to 99-77 going into the fourth.

Curry – playing with a sore finger on his shooting hand – had 16 of his points in the first quarter, then 10 more in the third.

"Nothing magical or no secret sauce to it," Curry said.

"Just trying to be efficient."

Goran Dragic scored 20 points for the Heat. They led by eight in the early going and 36-33 after the first quarter. The Heat then scored 41 points in the next 24 minutes.

"Golden State took it to a different level," Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said.

"What I wanted to see was a competitive response."

Starting with a layup by Curry late in the half, Golden State made 10 out of 11 shots in one stretch. Curry had two 3-pointers in that third-quarter barrage, and his driving score pushed the lead out to 80-63.

At that point, he had 30 points in the game's first 28:30 minutes. He didn't score again, and the Warriors didn't need much more help anyway.

"The first half we competed with them," Dragic said. "Second half, we didn't."

Golden State would eventually lead by 33. Miami was outscored by 26 in the second half.

 

Ruthless Rockets

 

James Harden scored 36 points, Eric Gordon added 22 and the streaking Houston Rockets beat the Los Angeles Lakers 118-95 on Sunday night for their seventh consecutive victory.

Chris Paul had 21 points for Houston, which has won six straight road games and 13 of 14 overall. Harden handed out nine assists.

Kyle Kuzma led Los Angeles with 22 points, and Brandon Ingram added 18.

Kentavious Caldwell-Pope had 16 and Larry Nance Jr. scored 15 for the Lakers, who lost their fifth game in a row.

Rookie point guard Lonzo Ball struggled again, missing all four shots from the field and finishing with two points and three assists.

The Rockets forced 21 turnovers and converted them into 27 points.

Houston first took control in the second quarter, outscoring the Lakers 34-19 as Los Angeles shot 31.9 percent in the period.

Harden almost outscored Los Angeles by himself, putting up 16 points in the quarter.

The Lakers made a run at the Rockets to start the second half, going on a 21-9 spurt to pull within three. Houston scored the next nine points and Los Angeles never seriously threatened again.

Rockets have made an NBA-high 340 three-pointers, 50 more than second-place Golden State.

Houston coach Mike D'Antoni said he wouldn't be upset if a Rockets player was by himself on a fast break and pulled up for a three.

"No, not if he made it. I'd say, 'Good shot.' Nah, players wouldn't do that. It would be crazy," D'Antoni said. . F Ryan Anderson played only 12 minutes due to back tightness.

   
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