Curry, Durant lead Warriors to 12th consecutive victory
SAN FRANCISCO—Stephen Curry and Kevin Durant each scored 25 points apiece as the Golden State Warriors overturned a fourth quarter deficit to defeat the Atlanta Hawks 105-100 and claim a 12th straight victory on Monday.
Atlanta looked to have the Warriors rattled after edging into an 81-80 lead as the final quarter got under way.
But two Andre Iguodala baskets, a Durant jumper and a Shaun Livingston layup gave the Warriors an 8-0 run that put them 88-81 ahead.
Atlanta pulled it back to 88-85 with a Kent Bazemore layup but missed with three-point efforts by Dennis Schroder and Bazemore.
A further Bazemore three-point attempt also failed with two minutes left with the Warriors defending a narrow 91-89 lead.
The Warriors responded with six unanswered points, including four from Durant to give themselves vital breathing space.
Two superb defensive blocks by Draymond Green in the final minute also stymied the Atlanta challenge as the Warriors improved to 16-2.
Durant meanwhile led the rebounds with 14 while Klay Thompson added 20 points.
Schroder headed the Atlanta scoring with 24 points as the Hawks slipped to 10-8. It was a sixth defeat in seven games for Atlanta, who had forged a 9-2 start to the campaign earlier in the season.
Meanwhile, the Dallas Mavericks will slowly ease Dirk Nowitzki back into the fray as the veteran German star recovers from a lingering Achilles problem, a report said Monday.
Nowitzki missed Sunday’s victory over the New Orleans Pelicans after complaining of soreness in his right Achilles despite showing signs of improvement recently.
Mavs coach Rick Carlisle told The Dallas Morning News he would not hesitate to rest Nowitzki as the 38-year-old battles back to fitness after playing only five of 16 games so far this season.
“This is part of the recovery,” Carlisle said. “Getting him better, we’re going to have to take it incrementally. There’s not like there was any big setback.”
Carlisle said he expected Nowitzki’s recovery process would run into December.
“He’s come a long way in a four-plus week period. But it’s an Achilles strain and it’s taking time,” Carlisle said.
“My hope is that it can be complete sometime in December, sooner than later. But we just got to be patient with it. He’s too important to us. If we have to play without him, we’ll play without him.”
Mavs owner Mark Cuban meanwhile said there was “every expectation” that Nowitzki’s injury was “not serious.”
“It’s dramatically better ... he just felt it again, so there’s no reason to take a chance. We’re just being cautious,” Cuban said.
Nowitzki has played for the Mavericks ever since joining from DJK Wurzburg in 1998. He was the NBA Finals MVP during the team’s 2011 championship year and is a 13-time NBA All-Star.
The Mavericks are currently languishing at the bottom of the Western Conference standings with a dismal 3-13 record.