NBA

NBA

NBA

The Golden State Warriors used a perfectly executed third quarter to breeze past a faltering Houston Rockets team on Friday night.

The Golden State Warriors used clean defensive execution and continued all-around excellence from the Big Four to avenge their December loss to James Harden and the Houston Rockets, 125 - 108. Kevin Durant and Stephen Curry spearheaded a controlled offensive attack, with 32 and 24 points respectively. James Harden, hampered by a hounding rotation of Klay Thompson and Andre Iguodala and without the usual contributions from his running mate Eric Gordon, was harassed into 17 points, 11 assists, 7 turnovers, and an 0-for-5 night from downtown.

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NBA

In the Eastern Conference, the road to the NBA Finals goes through LeBron. Not only has he played in six straight Finals, something no player has done since the days of Bill Russell’s Celtics, but he also has been to the championship round in seven of the last 10 seasons.

The three times he didn’t make it, the team that eliminated him ultimately represented the Eastern Conference. You have to go back to the 2005-06 season for the last time the road to the Finals didn’t go through James.

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NBA

On the eve of the announcement, Boston Celtics point guard Isaiah Thomas has a fresh batch of motivation after missing out on a starting spot with the Eastern Conference All-Star team when he lost a tie-breaker to DeMar DeRozan.

Thomas wasn’t bashful when asked if he liked his chances to earn a starting role. “I should be a starter,” Thomas said. “But I can’t control that.”

Thomas leads the East in scoring and is fourth in the NBA, averaging 28.7 points per game. Thirteen times this season he has scored at least 30 points. Not only is he leading the NBA in fourth-quarter scoring, but his average of 10.1 points per game in that frame is the best mark in the NBA over the past two decades.

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NBA

Well, that was breezy. Until it wasn’t.

After a lackluster effort on Wednesday in Detroit, the Atlanta Hawks entered Friday evening with a bounce-back in the plans. Within moments after tip-off against the Chicago Bulls, it was apparent that a victory would be taking place. From there, the Hawks simply held on (for dear life down the stretch) and the final result was a 102-93 victory.

Atlanta raced out of the gates and, frankly, never really looked back. The home team held a 20-8 lead in the early going and that quickly became a 28-13 advantage that pushed Chicago into a timeout. At that point, the Hawks had converted 13 of 17 from the floor and the red-hot shooting simply continued.

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NBA

No Kevin Love? No problem, as the Cavs beat the Suns 118-103.

The Cleveland Cavaliers made easy work of the Phoenix Suns tonight, winning 118-103. Without Kevin Love, the Cavs thrived against one of the league’s worst teams, taking advantage of the Suns’ poor perimeter defense and their lack of offensive flow. The Cavs hit 19 threes for the game, forced Phoenix to only attempt that many, and posted 29 assists for the game. After the West coast road trip, this was a welcome win to get refocused with four of the next five games coming in Cleveland.

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NBA

Golden State Warriors center Zaza Pachulia was not taken aback after seeing the replay of his hard foul on guard Russell Westbrook with seconds to go in the half of Wednesday’s 121-100 win over the Oklahoma City Thunder.

“You just move on,” Pachulia said according to ESPN’s Royce Young. “If he got hurt, that’s fine too. It’s part of the game.”

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