NBA regular season

Play-in picture: Curry returns in key Warriors win over Lakers


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Play-in picture: Curry returns in key Warriors win over Lakers

TIGHT. Warriors guard Stephen Curry drives against Lakers guard D'Angelo Russell.

Jason Parkhurst/USA TODAY Sports/Reuters

With Steph Curry back from injury, the Warriors slightly pull ahead of the Lakers in the tight race for play-in tournament spots

Stephen Curry scored 31 points in his return from a three-game absence and Klay Thompson added 26 points as the visiting Golden State Warriors earned a 128-121 victory over the Los Angeles Lakers on Saturday, March 16 (Sunday, March 17, Manila time).

Jonathan Kuminga scored 23 points, Andrew Wiggins had 16, and Draymond Green added 6 points, 13 assists, and 12 rebounds to help the Warriors (35-31) pull a percentage point ahead of the Lakers (36-32). 

Both teams are in the final two spots for the play-in tournament in the Western Conference.

Golden State entered with three losses in its previous four games and went 1-2 while Curry was out with a right ankle sprain.

LeBron James scored 13 of his 40 points in the fourth quarter and D’Angelo Russell added 23 points and 13 assists for the Lakers. 

Anthony Davis did not play after the first quarter because of a left eye injury. His eye was brushed by the arm of Warriors forward Trayce Jackson-Davis on a drive to the basket.

Rui Hachimura scored 14 points and Jaxson Hayes had 12 rebounds for Los Angeles, which lost consecutive games for the first time since late January and has gone 3-4 in March.

Davis had 8 points and 4 rebounds as the Lakers took a 36-30 lead after one quarter. With more space to operate in the second quarter after Davis departed, the Warriors pushed in front 67-66 at halftime thanks to 21 first-half points off the bench from Thompson.

Golden State widened its lead to 102-93 after three quarters with Curry scoring 13 points in the period. The Lakers shot 39.1% from the floor in the third quarter.

Once trailing by 12 points in the fourth quarter, the Lakers pulled within 116-112 on a three-point play from Austin Reaves with 5:26 remaining. Curry and Green made consecutive layups to put the Warriors back up 120-112 with 4:37 left.

Both teams grew upset with three lengthy replay delays and multiple shot-clock malfunctions with just under two minutes remaining as the Warriors held a 124-117 lead. 

When play resumed, Curry stole the ball from James and Kuminga dunked to seal the victory for the Warriors.

Golden State improved to 2-1 against Los Angeles this season, with a final matchup scheduled for April 9 in LA. –

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