Stephen Curry, Warriors use big second half to beat Knicks

State Warriors’ Stephen Curry, right, drives against New York Knicks center Enes Kanter during the third quarter of their NBA at Oracle Arena. The Warriors defeated the Knicks 123-112. (USA TODAY Sports)
Updated 24 January 2018
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Stephen Curry, Warriors use big second half to beat Knicks

OAKLAND, California: Kevin Durant mouthed off to official James Williams, got tossed late and might have cost himself another assist during a career night of dishing out the ball.
“I told him he was wrong,” Durant said afterward of arguing with Williams in the first half over a carry.
Stephen Curry scored 17 of his 32 points in the third quarter to go with seven assists and six rebounds, and the Golden State Warriors used a big second half to beat the New York Knicks 123-112 on Tuesday night.
Durant added 14 points, a career-high 14 assists and two blocks before his ejection with 2:50 left for a second technical. Zaza Pachulia added 13 points in Golden State’s seventh straight victory in the series.
“Second half, his whole thing was like he’s trying to get me. ... He was searching for me, he’s looking to try to tech me up to get me back because he’s still got his feelings hurt from the first half,” Durant said. “That’s what’s been going on around the league the whole year, a bunch of that.”
Curry made 8 of 15 from deep while sporting sneakers featuring the faces of his daughters Riley and Ryan and the message “I can do all things.”
The Warriors bounced back from Saturday’s eight-point defeat at Houston to improve to 10-0 following a loss this season.
Michael Beasley scored 21 points and Courtney Lee contributed 20 as New York lost for the third time in four games and sixth in eight.
“We got lucky a little bit in the first half,” Lee said. “They were missing a lot of opens shots, and then in the second half those shots that they were missing went down and we weren’t able to get stops and get out and convert on those opportunities.”
The Warriors opened the third on a 16-9 burst to lead for the first time all night, then went on to score 100 or more points for a 14th straight game.
Draymond Green had 12 points, six assists and five rebounds for the Warriors.
Curry and Thompson shot a combined 4 for 16 in the first half, including 2 of 10 on 3s, before Curry found his stroke and wound up 9 for 19 overall in his 14th 30-point performance of the season. Thompson struggled to nine points on 4-for-10 shooting, missing all three of his 3-point tries.
The Knicks made 11 of their initial 20 shots while the Warriors began 8 of 18 and 1 for 8 from behind the arc to fall behind 29-19 — Curry missed four of his first five field goals.
Andre Iguodala, who had dealt with a bruised left calf that kept him out the previous two games, returned to the Warriors rotation and scored five points in 20 minutes off the bench.
Green and Thompson were named All-Star reserves, joining Curry — a captain — and Durant.
The Warriors became the first team in NBA history to have four All-Stars in back-to-back seasons. It will be the ninth time in NBA history that a team has had four All-Stars play in the game.
“For us to all go is pretty special,” Thompson said. “First time in NBA history to have four guys go two years in a row is incredible.”
Golden State had the same four All-Stars a year ago.
“I’m proud of them, amazing to have four All-Stars two years in a row,” Kerr said. “We’re obviously really lucky to have these guys all together at once on the roster. What I love is they’re so unselfish, they play together so well. That’s why they’re all All-Stars. It wouldn’t work if they were selfish and looking for their own shot, looking for their own points.”


'We want to make Saudi Arabia proud': Pizzi promises better showing against Egypt

Updated 21 June 2018
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'We want to make Saudi Arabia proud': Pizzi promises better showing against Egypt

  • Saudi Arabia cannot progress from Group A even if they defeat Egypt in their final game on Monday
  • Wednesday’s overall performance was much improved, yet a lack of penetrative passing was obvious

ROSTOV-ON-DON: “Keeping possession of the ball seems to be the absolute and most important thing, but then when you sometimes find issues in getting the ball into your opponent’s half, you have to find other movements and ways of doing that,” said Oscar Tabarez after watching his lackluster Uruguay rely on a solitary Luis Suarez goal to eliminate Saudi Arabia from the World Cup. 
Tabarez was talking about his own team’s struggles, yet the assessment is considerably more applicable to the Green Falcons, who dominated possession and retained the ball with ease in midfield, yet for the second match running looked absolutely bereft of ideas in the final third. With Uruguay and Russia now on six points, Saudi Arabia cannot progress from Group A even if they defeat Egypt in their final game on Monday.
The Green Falcons coach Juan Antonio Pizzi confirmed he intends to stay at the helm of the side for the long-haul, yet is only too aware that the potential of this team is being hamstrung by its inability to score. He called it “our weakness”, adding that his side enjoyed “good ball possession, but no effectiveness”. They, he said, did not have the sufficient “weapons or tools” to equalize.
Pizzi’s side have found the net now just twice in their past five games and against Uruguay managed only three shots on target in 90 minutes — two of which came in added time and were so tame they would hardly have troubled the opposition goalkeeper Fernando Muslera had he been relaxing at his far post sipping a drink. In the 5-0 defeat to Russia last week, they failed to muster a single shot on target. 
Wednesday’s overall performance was much improved, yet a lack of penetrative passing was obvious. One passage of play in the opening exchanges saw Saudi Arabia complete 16 passes untroubled without the ball entering the opposition penalty box. When Uruguay finally won possession, they required only four quick exchanges to find Edinson Cavani on the left wing drilling the ball across the front of goal. 
“I don’t share that assessment,” said Pizzi, when it was put to him that his team was too slow to attack. “We played at the speed that was necessary. We need to be accurate, but if you step up the speed you lose accuracy with your passes. We had control of the game and that was why.”
Striker Mohammed Al-Sahlawi had been the focal point of much criticism from Turki Al-Sheikh, the head of Saudi’s General Sports Authority, after the Russia “fiasco” and was dropped from the side against Uruguay. So too was goalkeeper Abdullah Al-Mayouf, another who Al-Sheikh name-checked as having been at fault.
Pizzi, asked whether the scathing assessment from his bosses had forced his hand when it came to team selection, calmly dismissed the suggestion. He also ruled out the notion that administrative issues between the players and the country’s football federation had caused unrest in his squad.
“I have a list of 23 players here and they are all available to play. We are here together and pushing in the same direction. 
“I wanted — and still want — to make the Saudi Arabian people feel proud of our energy and the desire we show in matches. Unfortunately we were unable to do that against Russia and will be playing our next match without any hope of progressing. I hope now they will feel a little more proud even though we are out of the World Cup,” he said.