Stephen Curry was his old self on Wednesday in his third game since missing 11 straight with a strained groin.
Curry nailed nine 3-pointers and poured in 42 points as the Golden State Warriors won a rematch of last season's NBA Finals, 129-105 at Cleveland. The two-time MVP put the game out of reach by scoring nine points in less than a minute midway through the fourth quarter. He also finished with nine rebounds and seven assists.
Curry is averaging 33 points since his return, going 18-for-33 from 3-point range.
Kevin Durant added 25 points, 10 boards and nine assists in the Warriors' first visit to Cleveland since completing a four-game sweep of LeBron James and the Cavaliers in June.
Checking out Wednesday's other NBA action:
The Raptors improved their league-best record to 21-5 as Kawhi Leonard shot 13 of 24 while providing 36 points to Toronto's 113-102 victory against the 76ers. Serge Ibaka added 18 points as the Raptors bounced back from Monday's loss to Denver to beat the Sixers for the 13th straight time in Canada.
The Nuggets won their seventh in a row as Jamal Murray's 31 points led a 124-118 victory in overtime at Orlando. Paul Millsap added 18 points for Denver, which opened the extra session on a 9-2 run.
Eric Bledsoe matched his season high with 27 points and the Bucks opened the second half on a 19-4 run to take a 75-49 lead in a 115-92 rout of the Pistons. Giannis Antetokounmpo added 15 points and a team-high eight boards as Milwaukee improved to 12-2 at home.
LeBron James scored 20 of his 42 points in the fourth quarter of the Lakers' fourth straight win, 121-113 over the Spurs. Kyle Kuzma had 22 points and nine rebounds for the Lakers, and Josh Hart hit a pair of big 3-pointers over the final 3:04.
Julius Randle had 27 points and 18 rebounds in the Pelicans' 132-106 blowout over the Mavericks. Pelicans forward Anthony Davis had 27 points, a career-high nine assists and five blocks despite twisting his ankle and briefly leaving the court for treatment.
Memphis was a 96-86 winner over the Clippers as Mike Conley scored 22 points and JaMychal Green furnished 19 with 11 rebounds. The Grizzlies held Los Angeles to a season low for points, allowing just 34 percent shooting and forcing 19 turnovers.
The Thunder have a four-game winning streak after Paul George scored 25 of his 47 points in the fourth quarter, including a 3-pointer with 3.1 seconds left in a 114-112 triumph over the Nets. Russell Westbrook recorded his 108th career triple-double with 21 points, 17 assists and 15 rebounds, but George carried the Oklahoma City offense after Brooklyn carried an 18-point advantage into the final period.
Karl-Anthony Towns helped the Timberwolves earn their sixth win in seven games by contributing 35 points, 12 rebounds and six blocks to a 121-104 decision over the Hornets. Andrew Wiggins chipped in a season-best 26 points and helped Minnesota limit Charlotte to 31.3 percent shooting in the second half.
Bradley Beal pumped in a season-high 36 points and the Wizards won their third in a row by whipping the Hawks, 131-117 in Atlanta. Otto Porter Jr. had 20 points and 11 rebounds for Washington, which finished with a season-best 35 assists despite playing without guard John Wall for personal reasons.
Thursday on the Court:
The New York Kicks take on Boston at 8 p.m.
MEN’S COLLEGE BASKETBALL
Unranked Washington almost knocked off the nation's No. 1 men's basketball team.
It took a Rui Hachimura jumper with a half-second left to send Gonzaga past the Huskies, 81-79 at Spokane. Jaylen Nowell hit two free throws with 9.4 seconds left to tie it, but the Zags managed to improve to 9-0 this season and beat Washington for the 12th time in their last 13 meetings.
Hachimura finished with 26 points for the Bulldogs. Nowell had a team-high 26 for the Huskies.
In other top-25 finals:
RJ Barrett poured in 27 points and grabbed a season-high 15 rebounds as third-ranked Duke hammered Hartford, 84-54. Zion Williamson delivered 18 points and 12 boards for Duke, which shot 62 percent in the second half and improved to 8-1.
Jarrett Culver scored 13 points and 13th-ranked Texas Tech moved to 8-0 by silencing Arkansas-Pine Bluff, 65-47. The Red Raiders held the Lions to 32.6 percent shooting after entering the game as the nation's top team in field goal defense.
Cameron Johnson's 21 points were among North Carolina's highlights in a 97-69 thumping of UNC-Wilmington. Freshman forward Nassir Little added 14 points in the 14th-ranked Tar Heels' first game since losing at No. 5 Michigan last week.
Justin Robinson nailed three 3-pointers and contributed 18 points as 15th-rated Virginia Tech dumped VMI, 89-68. Alexander-Walker finished with 15 points and the Hokies hit 11 treys while shooting 51.7 overall from the field.
No. 17 Buffalo rolled to an 89-55 win over Division I LeMoyne behind CJ Massinburg's 13 points, 12 rebounds and 10 assists. Dontay Caruthers scored 20 points, backup Nick Perkins had 18 and Massinburg became just the second player in Bulls history to record a triple-double.
Keyshawn Woods scored 12 of his 18 points in the second half to help No. 19 Ohio State turn a 38-34 halftime deficit into a 77-67 win against Illinois. Kaleb Wesson finished with 13 points and Musa Jallow added 11 with nine rebounds as the 8-1 Buckeyes improved to 2-0 in the Big Ten.
Jermaine Samuels hit three 3-pointers in the second half and finished with a career-high 15 points as 21st-rated Villanova knocked off Temple, 69-59. The Wildcats have won 24 straight against Philadelphia's Big 5 teams since Dec. 5, 2012.
Amir Coffey scored a career-best 32 points and Minnesota trailed by as many as 13 before pulling out an 85-78 win over No. 24 Nebraska. Jordan Murphy went 4-for-4 from the line in the final minute and finished with 18 points and 13 rebounds.
St. Bonaventure downed Siena 82-40
UConn topped Lafayette 90-63
Quinipiac edged Dartmouth 64-59
Fairfield takes on Oakland at 7 p.m.
Emmert: No speedy resolution in basketball corruption cases:
NCAA President Mark Emmert says new rules that allow the organization to use information from legal proceedings will help its investigation of the FBI's college basketball corruption case.
Emmert says federal prosecutors are still at work and the NCAA needs to be "very respectful" of that. He also says the inquiry is unlikely to be completed before the upcoming NCAA men's basketball tournament.
The first federal trial in the case in New York in October resulted in the conviction of three men for wire fraud and testimony that implicated Louisville, Arizona, Kansas and others of being involved in payments to high school players.
WOMEN’S COLLEGE BASKETBALL
Syracuse defeated Maryland Eastern Shore 96-51
Central Connecticut topped UAlbany 60-53
Northeastern beat Fairfield 59-50
Iona takes on Temple at 7 p.m.
The St. Louis Cardinals have added one of the National League's most dangerous hitters to their lineup.
The Arizona Diamondbacks have shipped six-time All-Star first baseman Paul Goldschmidt to the Redbirds for pitcher Luke Weaver, catcher Carson Kelly, minor league infielder Andy Young and a 2019 draft pick. The 31-year-old Goldschmidt is in the final year of his contract after hitting .290 with 33 home runs and 83 RBIs this year. That could be considered an off-year for the three-time Gold Glove recipient, who batted a career-best .321 in 2015 to finish as the MVP runner-up for the second time in his career.
In other MLB news:
Chris Owings has agreed to a $3 million, one-year contract with the Royals, five days after the utilityman was cut loose by Arizona. The 27-year-old Owings hit .206 in 106 games this year.
Former Mariners pitching coach Mel Stottlemyre Jr. has been hired in the same capacity by the Marlins.
Connor McDavid and Oscar Klefbom helped their new head coach beat one of his former teams.
The Edmonton Oilers rallied from a 2-0 deficit before McDavid scored the deciding shootout goal in a 3-2 victory at St. Louis. The Blues led by two through 13 ½ minutes and were clinging to a 2-1 advantage until McDavid set up Klefbom's tying goal with 56 seconds left in regulation.
Ryan Nugent-Hopkins provided a goal and an assist, and Cam Talbot stopped 28 shots as the Oilers improved to 5-2-1 under Ken Hitchcock.
The Blues are 2-5-0 since Craig Berube became their interim head coach.
Elsewhere on NHL ice:
The Ducks won their fifth in a row as Ondrej Kase scored the tiebreaking goal four minutes into the third period of a 4-2 verdict over the Blackhawks. Brandon Montour and Daniel Sprong scored 20 seconds apart in the first period for Anaheim, and John Gibson turned back 25 shots.
Timo Meier returned from a three-game injury absence to deliver a goal and two assists in the Sharks' 5-1 win against Carolina. Martin Jones made 39 saves and blanked the Hurricanes until Lucas Wallmark's power-play goal late in the second period.
Thursday on the Ice:
The Philadelphia Flyers host Columbus at 7 p.m.
The New York Rangers take on the Pittsburgh Penguins at 7 p.m.
The Boston Bruins go against the Tampa Bay Lightning at 7:30 p.m.
The New Jersey Devils face off against Los Angeles at 10:30 p.m.
Rangers remain most valuable NHL franchise:
The New York Rangers are the NHL's most valuable franchise for a fourth consecutive year, according to Forbes.
The Rangers top the annual list of franchise valuations at $1.55 billion, up 3 percent from last year.
The Maple Leafs are second, followed by the Canadiens, Blackhawks and Bruins.
The Coyotes and Panthers bring up the rear.
A pair of injured NFL quarterbacks are optimistic about this weekend.
Bears QB Mitchell Trubisky said he is "really close to 100 percent" and expects to play Sunday night against the Rams after missing the past two games because of a right shoulder injury. He went through a full practice Wednesday, and Coach Mike Nagy says he has a strong feeling that Trubisky will play.
The Bears split their games started by Chase Daniel, losing to the Giants on Sunday following a Thanksgiving Day victory at Detroit.
Panthers’ signal-caller Cam Newton says he'll be ready to play against the Browns on Sunday despite lingering pain in his throwing shoulder.
Newton continues to experience pain and discomfort in his right shoulder more than 20 months after undergoing rotator cuff surgery. Newton has thrown downfield fewer times this year than at any point in his career, but he's also completed a career-high 69.5 percent of his passes due in part to the shorter throws.
Thursday NFL Matchup:
The Jacksonville Jaguars take on the Tennessee Titans at 8:20 p.m.
In other NFL news:
Rams running back Malcolm Brown will miss the remainder of the season because of a collarbone injury. Coach Sean McVay said that Brown is likely headed to injured reserve after sustaining the injury in last Sunday's win over Detroit.
NFL interceptions leader Xavien Howard is nursing a knee injury, leaving his availability uncertain for the Dolphins on Sunday against New England. Miami coach Adam Gase described Howard's status as week to week.
The Lions have placed linebacker Jalen Reeves-Maybin on injured reserve with a neck injury. Reeves-Maybin is tied for the team lead with six tackles on special teams and he had seven tackles on defense this season.
Running back C.J. Anderson has signed with the Raiders and could be in their backfield for Sunday's game against the Steelers. Raiders coach Jon Gruden said that the move is insurance while Doug Martin deals with a sore knee.
The Arizona Cardinals' bad injury situation got worse when starting left tackle D.J. Humphries was placed on injured reserve with a knee injury. The move leaves rookie center Mason Cole as the only remaining member of the offensive line that began the season.
Giants’ safety and leading tackler Landon Collins is going on injured reserve with a partially torn labrum that will require surgery. Collins was hurt in Sunday's overtime win against the Chicago Bears.
Sam Darnold was a full participant at practice, putting him on track to start for the Jets at Buffalo on Sunday. The rookie quarterback has missed the past three games with a strained right foot.
Colorado has hired Georgia defensive coordinator Mel Tucker as its new head coach after he helped rebuild the Bulldogs into a national contender.
Tucker gets a five-year, $14.75 million contract and starts immediately, which means he won't coach Georgia in the Sugar Bowl on New Year's Day.
The 46-year-old Tucker replaces Mike MacIntyre, who was fired with a game remaining in the season and the team mired in a six-game skid.
In other college football news:
Missouri football coach Barry Odom's contract has been extended and he's getting a $600,000 raise. Members of the University of Missouri Board of Curators voted unanimously in favor of extending Odom's contract another two years. The raise will bring his salary up to more than $3 million a year.
USA Gymnastics is turning to bankruptcy in an effort to ensure its survival.
The embattled organization filed a Chapter 11 bankruptcy petition on Wednesday as it attempts to reach settlements in the dozens of sex-abuse lawsuits it faces and to forestall its potential demise at the hands of the U.S. Olympic Committee.
USA Gymnastics faces 100 lawsuits representing 350 athletes in various courts across the country who blame the group for failing to supervise Larry Nassar, a team doctor accused of molesting them.
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