The Golden State Warriors-Oklahoma City Thunder rivalry has heated up since the Kevin Durant-Russell Westbrook drama began, although, it's been just about all Durant on the floor. That was the case on Tuesday night, as he had 34 points and 10 rebounds in a 111-107 win over the Oklahoma City Thunder. Durant's efforts helped overcome Westbrook's big night with 44 points, 16 rebounds, and six assists, as the teams split their four-game season series. The reigning MVP shot 15-of-26 from the floor and 11-for-12 from the free throw line. What was a little more impressive about this win for Golden State was that they were without Steph Curry, who missed a sixth straight game with an MCL sprain. Andre Iguodala also sat out with left knee soreness, and Shaun Livingston missed the game due to personal reasons. They did have the recently-returned Klay Thompson, who scored 20 points, helping his team overcome Durant's tough 2-for-13 shooting second half. They also got major help from the bench, as they scored 38 points on the night. The loss for the Thunder drops them to sixth place in the Western Conference standings, as they trailed by as many as 10 in the first half, before keeping things close after halftime. They will head in to another tough battle on the road against the Houston Rockets on Saturday night. The Warriors move on to visit the Indiana Pacers on Friday.
Sixers Keep Pace With Cavs By Winning 11th Straight
The Philaelphia 76ers went from being in the conversation of a playoff spot in the Eastern Conference, to possibly hosting a playoff series, right on the tail of LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers. They kept pace with the Cavs on Tuesday night by winning their 11th straight game, 121-95, over the Brooklyn Nets. J.J. Redick led the way with 19 points, while Ben Simmons had a double-double of 15 points and 12 rebounds for the Sixers, who will be without Joel Embiid for at least the rest of the regular season. There is no official return date to aim for, but they do hope to have him back for the beginning of the playoffs. Despite being without their star, Philadelphia continued to find a way to get everyone involved, shooting 54 percent from the floor, including 42 percent from three-point range, as they outscored the Nets in all four quarters. The Sixers were also without starter Dario Saric due to an elbow injury, but did get 17 points from veteran Marco Belinelli. This helped them extend what is their longest win streak in franchise history since 2003. Spencer Dinwiddie led the Nets with 16 points, but they never led in what was their 53rd loss of the season. The Sixers will be right back at it to put their streak on the line when they visit the Detroit Pistons on Wednesday. They enter that game just a half game from the three-seed in the East, behind the Cavaliers, who beat the Toronto Raptors on Tuesday. The Nets return to action on Thursday when they visit the Milwaukee Bucks.
Gregorius Rakes in Yankees' Home Opener, Ohtani Hits First HR
The New York Yankees had to wait an extra day for their home opener, but still played in cold, snow, and rain, which did not affect Didi Gregorius's bat. The shortstop went 4-for-4 with two home runs and eight RBI in the Yankees' 11-4 rout of the Tampa Bay Rays. Gregorius helped the Yankees pull away with a three-run shot in the third and then a two-run blast in the eighth, as New York used a seven-run eighth inning to distance themselves for good. The win and the shortstop's big night helped overcome Giancarlo Stanton's tough Yankee Stadium debut, as the slugger went 0-for-5 with five strikeouts. That led to the reigning NL MVP to get booed by the home crowd, despite them being ahead. They will continue their series with Tampa Bay on Wednesday afternoon. Meanwhile, another slugger that did find success with his new team was Japanese star, Shohei Ohtani. The pitcher/designated hitter crushed his first career home run in the Los Angeles Angels' 13-2 blowout of the Cleveland Indians. Ohtani's long ball came off of Josh Tomlin in the first inning and cleared the out-of-town scoreboard in right-center field. That was part of a six-run first inning, which also included a homer from Mike Trout. That came after Jose Ramirez gave his team the early lead with a two-run shot in the top half of the inning. That would end up being the only source of offense in what was the first loss in 13 games for the Indians against the Angels. The Halos ended up hitting four home runs in their fourth win of the season, as they will wrap up their series with the Indians on Wednesday afternoon.