The Cleveland Cavaliers hadn't lost since their eventful trade deadline a couple weeks ago, that was until Thursday night in their first game since the All-Star break. Bradley Beal had 18 points and Kelly Oubre Jr. added 17 in the Washington Wizards' 110-103 road win over the defending Eastern Conference Champions. LeBron James had 32 points in the loss, including 14 straight points in the fourth quarter, as Washington nearly blew an 11-point lead late. James got his team within three, but missed a free throw and then was called for a lane violation after intentionally missing the second one. Washington improved to 8-2 since losing John Wall to injury. Tomas Satoransky took over the point guard position on Thursday and had 17 points and eight assists, while not turning the ball over in 31 minutes. The Cavs dropped to 2-1 since all the trades, as J.R. Smith added 15 points in the loss, which was the home debut of Larry Nance Jr., Jordan Clarkson, George Hill, and Rodney Hood. Cleveland did lead by 12 early on, but that did not last for long, as they trailed by three at halftime. They will be back at it on Friday against the Memphis Grizzlies, while the Wizards host the Charlotte Hornets that same day.
Warriors Hold off the Clippers
The Golden State Warriors were in a bit of a fight on their home floor Thursday night, but it was a fight they came out on top of with a 134-127 win over the Los Angeles Clippers. Steph Curry had 44 points, including a first-quarter buzzer-beater from three-point range, as the Warriors shot 62 percent on the night. That included a 56 percent mark from three-point range, helped out by Kevin Durant, who had 21 points and eight assists, while Klay Thompson added 19 points in their 23rd home win. Curry was 14-for-19 from the floor overall, including 8-of-11 from beyond the arc, while making all eight of his free throws. It was his third 40-point game of the season, as he also finished with 10 assists, six rebounds, and two steals. Tobias Harris led the Clippers with 22 points, leading their 9-0 run that cut the deficit to just two in the fourth quarter. DeAndre Jordan chipped in a double-double of 14 points and 14 rebounds for Los Angeles, who had won five of their past six. They will look to get back on track Friday night in Phoenix against the Suns, while the Warriors move on to another rivalry showdown with the Oklahoma City Thunder on Saturday.
Westbrook's Buzzer-Beater Downs Kings
Russell Westbrook brought in the unofficial second half of the season with a thrilling win for his Oklahoma City Thunder on Thursday. Westbrook hit the game-winning three as time expired to lift his Thunder over the Sacramento Kings, 110-107, on the road. The three came right off an inbounds pass after Oklahoma City blew a 23-point lead and trailed by three with 4:30 to play in regulation. The Thunder used an 8-2 run the rest of the way to earn the win, as Paul George led the way with 26 points. Carmelo Anthony had 23 points and Westbrook finished with 17, as the Thunder earned their second win in three games against Sacramento. Anthony matched his season high with seven three-pointers, while George finished with three, snapping his streak of five games with at least five made shots from beyond the arc. The Thunder as a team led, 44-21, at the end of the first quarter, after shooting 70 percent as a team in the first 12 minutes. Zach Randolph had 29 points to lead the Kings, who had five players finish in double figures. They will be back at home on Saturday to host the Los Angeles Lakers. The Thunder will also be back at it on Saturday against the Golden State Warriors.