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Tuesday , January 21 2020

Spurs, Cavaliers complete sweep; blow for GSW as Curry hurt again – Celtics down Hawks to square series

Kent Bazemore #24 of the Atlanta Hawks and Al Horford #15 defend Isaiah Thomas #4 of the Boston Celtics during the fourth quarter of Game Four of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals during the 2016 NBA Playoffs at TD Garden on April 24, in Boston, Massachusetts. (AFP)
Kent Bazemore #24 of the Atlanta Hawks and Al Horford #15 defend Isaiah Thomas #4 of the Boston Celtics during the fourth quarter of Game Four of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals during the 2016 NBA Playoffs at TD Garden on April 24, in Boston, Massachusetts. (AFP)

HOUSTON, April 25, (Agencies): Klay Thompson scored 23 points as the Golden State Warriors set an NBA playoff record with 21 3-pointers to overcome another injury to Stephen Curry and beat the Houston Rockets 121-94 on Sunday for a 3-1 series lead.

Curry returned after missing two games with a sprained right ankle but did not play in the second half after spraining his right knee.

He slid awkwardly to the court while defending on the last play before halftime and immediately grabbed his knee. He got up and looked to have trouble putting weight on it before jogging with a limp to the locker room. He came out with the team after halftime but sat on the bench for most of the warmup time. After talking with coaches, he returned to the locker room.

Golden State was just fine without him thanks to 3-point shooting that led to a 41-point third quarter. The Warriors beat the NBA record they shared for 3s in a playoff game when Brandon Rush made one from the top of the key with about 2-1/2 minutes left.

Golden State hosts Game 5 on Wednesday.

Dwight Howard led Houston with 19 points and 15 rebounds while James Harden had 18 points, 10 assists and seven steals.

Cavaliers 100, Pistons 98

In Detroit, Kyrie Irving scored 20 of his 31 points in the second half as Cleveland held on to finish off a four-game sweep of Detroit.

The Cavs advance to the second round to play either Atlanta or Boston.

LeBron James had 22 points for Cleveland but it was Irving who made the biggest shots all night. His midcourt buzzer beater put the Cavs up 81-78 after the third quarter, and with Cleveland clinging to a one-point lead in the final minute, he calmly sank a 3-pointer from the right wing with 42 seconds remaining.

Detroit still had a chance at the end but Reggie Jackson’s shot at the buzzer was off the mark.

Spurs 116, Grizzlies 95

In Memphis, Tennessee, Kawhi Leonard scored 21 points as San Antonio routed Memphis to sweep the best-of-seven series and advance to the Western Conference semifinals.

The Spurs finished off their ninth sweep of a postseason series in franchise history, their third against the Grizzlies. San Antonio also swept Memphis in the 2004 first round and the 2013 Western Conference finals.

The only thing that delayed the Spurs advancing was a power surge that knocked out the lights, stopping the game for about 20 minutes in the second quarter.

San Antonio now awaits the winner of Oklahoma City-Dallas, a best-of-seven series that the Thunder lead 3-1.

LaMarcus Aldridge scored 15 points and grabbed 10 rebounds for the Spurs. Tony Parker added 16 points. David West had 11.

Lance Stephenson scored 26 points off the bench for the Grizzlies. Zach Randolph and Matt Barnes each had 15 points and Vince Carter 14.

Celtics 104, Hawks 95, OT

In Boston, Isaiah Thomas scored 28 points, hitting a corner 3-pointer with 30 seconds left in overtime and then adding a pair of clinching free throws, as Boston sent its first-round playoff series back to Atlanta tied at two games apiece.

Paul Millsap scored 45 for the Hawks  a career playoff high and one off his all-time best  and added 13 rebounds.

Marcus Smart scored 20 points  including 11 straight for Boston in the fourth quarter  and Jonas Jerebko had 16 points and 10 rebounds.

Game 5 is Tuesday night in Atlanta.

The Los Angeles Lakers fired coach Byron Scott on Sunday after he oversaw the two worst seasons in franchise history, clearing the way for a continued rebuild after the retirement of all-time great Kobe Bryant.

“We would like to thank Byron for his hard work, dedication and loyalty over the last two years, but have decided it is in the best interest of the organisation to make a change at this time,” General Manager Mitch Kupchak said in a statement.

The search for a replacement will begin immediately with former player and now Golden State Warriors assistant Luke Walton regarded as top of the list of possible contenders.

Despite being the NBA’s second most successful franchise with 16 championships to their name, the Lakers are facing a sustained period of rebuilding after a dismal 17-65 campaign in the recently completed 2015-16 regular season.

Scott’s first season in charge was only marginally better, with the Lakers compiling a 21-61 record, their worst ever until this year.

 

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