Basketball

Warriors’ third-quarter run to 8th win in a row

Curry and McKinnie's 3-pointers help champions improve to 10-1

Stephen Curry and Alfonzo McKinnie connected on 3-pointers in a 14-point Golden State Warriors run late in the third quarter that propelled the two-time defending champions to a 117-101 victory over the Memphis Grizzlies yesterday morning (Singapore time) in Oakland, California.

Klay Thompson scored a game-high 27 points for the Warriors, who won their eighth consecutive contest overall and sixth in a row at home despite losing Draymond Green in the second quarter to a foot injury.

Marc Gasol flirted with a triple-double for Memphis with eight points and game highs in rebounds (10) and assists (nine).

Seeking to beat the Warriors in their first meeting of the season as they did last year, the Grizzlies led by as many as seven points in the first quarter and six in the second before finishing the half at 58-58.

Memphis were still within 76-71 after two Gasol free-throws with 3:44 left in the third quarter, before McKinnie triggered the game-breaking run with a jumper.

Curry then hit his 3-pointer, Kevin Durant dropped in a pair of jumpers, Kevon Looney put in a lay-up and McKinnie bombed one in from 3-point range, opening a 90-71 advantage in the final minute of the period.

The Warriors coasted home from there, in improving their record to 10-1.

It was a battle between the NBA's top-scoring offence against its second-leading defence.

He's a great athlete and I cannot believe the guy hasn't been in the NBA for years now. Golden State Warriors' Klay Thompson on teammate Alfonzo McKinnie.

Durant backed Thompson with 22 points and Curry finished with 19 to go with a team-high seven assists for the Warriors.

Thompson later had some praise for McKinnie: "It's unbelievable, honestly. I don't want to jinx the man, but he makes his first shot every time he comes into the game.

"Since the pre-season, since I've been seeing him play. He's a great athlete and I cannot believe the guy hasn't been in the NBA for years now.

"...I'm proud of Zo. He's a great player and he's going to be a great addition for us all year." - AFP

Basketball