CLEVELAND, Ohio — Stephen Curry made nine 3-pointers and scored 42 points, Kevin Durant added 25 and the Golden State Warriors came back to face a very different looking Cleveland team for the first time since winning another National Basketball Association (NBA) title and beat the Cavaliers 129-105 on Wednesday night (Thursday in Manila).
Curry scored nine points in less than a minute midway through the fourth quarter to help the Warriors pull away for their eighth straight over their former Finals rivals.
Curry added nine rebounds, seven assists and appears completely healed after missing 11 games with a strained groin. Durant had 10 rebounds and nine assists.
It was Golden State’s first visit to Cleveland since June, when the Warriors completed a sweep to win their third championship in four years.
Nothing looked the same.
The Cavaliers lost LeBron James over the summer as a free agent and are starting from scratch after a four-year run as Eastern Conference champions. Cleveland also is playing without injured All-Star Kevin Love, forward J.R. Smith is on a forced hiatus and the team recently traded Kyle Korver.
Tristan Thompson, one of the only holdovers from those powerful Cleveland teams, had 19 rebounds and 14 points. Rookie Collin Sexton scored 20 points for Cleveland.
In Los Angeles, LeBron James scored 20 of his 42 points in the fourth quarter and Josh Hart hit two clutch 3-pointers in the final minutes as Los Angeles beat San Antonio, 121-113, for its fourth straight victory.
Kyle Kuzma had 22 points and nine rebounds for the Lakers, who lost Brandon Ingram to a sprained left ankle in the first quarter.
Los Angeles still beat the Spurs for the first time in three tries this season, but only after James dramatically took control of another fourth quarter during his third 40-point game since joining the Lakers.
DeMar DeRozan scored 32 points and Rudy Gay had a season-high 31 before fouling out for the Spurs in the first of back-to-back games in three days to wrap up the season series between these longtime West rivals. They’ll meet again in San Antonio on Friday night.
San Antonio held an eight-point lead in the fourth before James started a rally by scoring nine consecutive points.
James scored all 20 of his fourth-quarter points in the final 9-½ minutes, going 7 of 8 from the field with three 3-pointers. He also had six assists and five rebounds.
LaMarcus Aldridge had 21 points and nine rebounds for the Spurs.
In New York, Paul George scored 25 of his 47 points in a sensational fourth quarter, including a go-ahead 3-pointer with 3.1 seconds left that lifted Oklahoma City past Brooklyn, 114-113.
George rallied the Thunder from a 23-point deficit and finished a point shy of his career high, leading them to a fourth straight victory in a game they trailed big for much of the way.
Russell Westbrook had his 108th career triple-double to snap a tie with former Nets star and coach Jason Kidd for third in NBA history, finishing with 21 points, 17 assists and 15 rebounds.
Allen Crabbe scored 22 points and tied a season high with seven 3-pointers for New Jersey.
In Toronto, Kawhi Leonard had 36 points, Jonas Valanciunas scored 18 of his season-high 26 in the fourth quarter and Toronto handed Philadelphia its 13th consecutive loss in Canada, 113-102.
Serge Ibaka added 18 points to help the Raptors bounce back from a loss to Denver to win for the ninth time in 10 games. Toronto is an NBA-best 21-5, and improved to 11-3 at home.