NBA: Red-hot Curry delivers 48pts as Warriors come from behind; Ibaka lifts Raptors over pesky Wizards

LOS ANGELES (AFP) – Stephen Curry scored 48 points and drained 11 three pointers, as the Golden State Warriors stretched their win streak to four straight with a 119-114 victory over the Dallas Mavericks on Sunday (Jan 13).

He tallied 24 points in the second half and scored the final seven for two-time National Basketball Association defending champions Golden State.

He also made the game-winning shot in a contest that Dallas led by five, 113-108, with just under four minutes left in regulation.

“We didn’t panic. We took our time on offence and didn’t have turnovers,” said Curry.

Kevin Durant scored 28 points and Klay Thompson made just two-of-11 three point attempts but still managed to score 16.

Luka Doncic, who is a candidate for rookie of the year, led Dallas with 26 points, making five of 10 from beyond the arc and adding five assists and six rebounds.

Forward Harrison Barnes scored 22 in the loss. Barnes was trying to get off a game-tying three-pointer with five seconds to go, but the ball slipped out of his hands and rolled out of bounds to seal the win for the Warriors.

“We just couldn’t get Curry under control,” Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle said. “He was brilliant tonight.”

Golden State now head to Denver on Tuesday for a showdown with the Nuggets.

Elsewhere, Serge Ibaka drained the go-ahead three-pointer with 15 seconds left in second overtime to lift the Toronto Raptors to a 140-138 victory over the Washington Wizards.

Kawhi Leonard led the Raptors with 41 points. That included 10 in overtime as Toronto finally put away the Wizards in a game in which the Raptors led by as many as 23.

“Tonight he played like a superstar,” Ibaka said of Leonard. “That’s how we need him to play and he did his job as a superstar. When we need him to step up and make big plays, he did them for us.”

The Raptors, who improved to an NBA-best 33-12, burst out of the gate and were up 51-28 late in the second quarter and by 17 with less than a minute to play in the third.

Washington chipped away, helped by Bradley Beal’s second triple-double of the season with 43 points, 15 assists and 10 rebounds.

“We got lucky to get out of here with a win,” Raptors coach Nick Nurse said.

Embiid returns for Sixers’ win over Knicks

In New York, the Philadelphia 76ers welcomed Joel Embiid back with a hard-fought 108-105 victory over the host Knicks.

Embiid, sidelined from Friday’s loss to Atlanta with a sore ankle, scored 26 points in his return to the starting line-up, pulling down eight rebounds and blocking six shots.

Ben Simmons had a big game, connecting on 10 of 13 shots from the field on the way to 20 points, and grabbing a career high 22 rebounds as the Sixers dominated the Knicks 56-34 on the boards.

The 22-year-old Australian, whose previous career-high for rebounds was 18, became the youngest 76er ever to post a 20-point, 20-rebound game.

“The numbers are dominant,” coach Brett Brown said of Simmons, who also handed out nine assists. “I thought he was fantastic.”

Magic shoot down Rockets

In Orlando, Florida, Nikola Vucevic and Aaron Gordon scored 22 points each as the Orlando Magic overcame James Harden’s 38-point performance with a 116-109 victory over the Houston Rockets.

Harden’s 38 points extended his string of 30-point games to 16 straight.

But the Magic outscored Harden 14-4 down the stretch and the Rocket star shot a dismal one of 17 from the three-point line.

Also, Cedi Osman scored 20 points, Collin Sexton added 17 and the Cleveland Cavaliers snapped a 12-game losing skid with a 101-95 victory over the struggling Los Angeles Lakers.

The Lakers were missing LeBron James who is listed as “day-to-day” as he recovers from the groin injury suffered in the Christmas Day win over Golden State. The Lakers are 3-7 without James.

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