Durant leads Warriors over Utah, Cavs fall to Kings

WASHINGTON, USA - Kevin Durant scored 21 points to lead 6 double-figure scorers for defending NBA champion Golden State and the Warriors pulled away in the third quarter to beat Utah 126-101 Wednesday, December 27 (Thursday Manila time).

The Warriors hit 33-of-46 shots in the second half, outscoring the Jazz 42-22 in the third quarter to blow open a close game in which Durant - who added 6 rebounds, 4 assists and 3 blocked shots - didn't play in the fourth quarter.

"Utah played really physical and they played defense like we hadn't seen before," Durant said.

"We knew in the second half they would tire out because they were moving around a lot so we stayed with our offense and in the third quarter we started pulling away."

Pat McCaw added a season-high 18 points off the bench while Klay Thompson and Nick Young each scored 15 points for the Warriors, who own the NBA's best record at 28-7.

Rodney Hood scored 26 off the bench to lead Utah.

Sacramento's Vince Carter came off the bench to score 24 points and fellow reserve Willie Cauley-Stein added 17 points and 9 rebounds to power the host Kings over the Cleveland Cavaliers 109-95.

LeBron James compiled a triple double in a losing cause with 16 points, 14 assists and 10 rebounds while Kevin Love scored a team-high 23 points as every Cavalier who played also scored.

Tyreke Evans scored 32 points and added 7 rebounds and 7 assists to lead the Memphis Grizzlies over the host Los Angeles Lakers 109-99. Brandon Ingram led the Lakers witrh 23 points.

Kyrie Irving scored 21 points and passed out 8 assists for the Boston Celtics in a 102-91 victory at Charlotte. Al Horford added 20 points and 11 rebounds for the Celtics, who lead the Eastern Conference at 28-10.

Boston's Jayson Tatum scored 18 points, Terry Rozier had 15, and Shane Larkin contributed 11. Kemba Walker led the Hornets with 24 points.

Dirk Nowitzki scored 15 points to lead 6 Dallas double-figure scorers in a 98-94 victory at Indiana. Harrison Barnes and Yogi Ferrell each had 13 points for Dallas.

The Pacers (19-16) were without top scorer Victor Oladipo, who was sidelined by a sore right knee.

Dennis Schroder scored 16 of his 21 points in the second half, leading the Atlanta Hawks to a 113-99 home upset of Washington. Ersan Ilyasova contributed 20 points while Marco Belinelli added 19 off the Atlanta bench. Bradley Beal led the Wizards with 20 points.

Jimmy Butler scored 12 of his game-high 39 points in overtime to power the Minnesota Timberwolves over visiting Denver 128-125 for their fifth win in a row.

Will Barton led Denver with 28 points and his two free throws with 5 seconds remaining in regulation to force over-time. 

Kris Dunn scored 17 points, including two free throws with 7.8 seconds remaining to spark the Chicago Bulls over the New York Knicks 92-87.

Lauri Markkanen finished with 12 points for the Bulls, who have won nine of their past 11 games. Kristaps Porzingis led New York with 23 points. – Rappler.com