Stephen Curry became just the fourth NBA player in the last 10 years to score 50 or more points in the first three quarters Wednesday night, pouring in 51 in the Golden State Warriors’ 144-122 victory over the Washington Wizards in Oakland, Calif.
Curry sandwiched an eight-point second quarter with 23- and 20-point periods in joining James Harden, Carmelo Anthony and teammate Klay Thompson with 50 or more points in the first 36 minutes of an NBA game in the past decade. Curry did not play in the fourth quarter, finishing three points under his career high.
The 51 points were an NBA season high, surpassing the 50 scored by Detroit’s Blake Griffin against Philadelphia on Tuesday night.
Kevin Durant added 30 points and Thompson 19 for the Warriors, who improved to 3-0 at home this season. Durant also finished with game highs in rebounds (eight) and assists (seven). Bradley Beal had 23 points to lead the Wizards.
Lakers 131, Suns 113
LeBron James earned his first win as a member of the Lakers, finishing with 19 points, seven rebounds and 10 assists as Los Angeles won at Phoenix.
Lance Stephenson had 23 points, eight rebounds and eight assists off the Los Angeles bench, and JaVale McGee led five starters in double figures with 20 points.
Phoenix’s Devin Booker scored 23 points before leaving with a strained left hamstring late in the third quarter. Deandre Ayton had 22 points and 11 rebounds, and Tyson Chandler had 14 points and 11 rebounds.
Bucks 123, 76ers 108
Giannis Antetokounmpo had 32 points, 18 rebounds and 10 assists to lead undefeated Milwaukee past visiting Philadelphia.
Antetokounmpo has scored at least 25 points and grabbed 15 rebounds in each of the Bucks’ first four games. The last time a player accomplished that feat to start a season was Wilt Chamberlain in 1965-66. Khris Middleton scored 25 points and Brook Lopez added 21 for the Bucks.
Joel Embiid had 30 points and 19 rebounds while becoming the first Sixers player to open a season with five straight double-doubles since Charles Barkley in 1991-92. Ben Simmons returned from a one-game absence caused by a sore back to post 14 points, 13 rebounds and 11 assists.
Jazz 100, Rockets 89
Donovan Mitchell paired 38 points with seven assists, and Utah overcame 19 turnovers in a victory over host Houston, which saw star James Harden exit due to hamstring tightness.
Rudy Gobert had 12 points and 13 rebounds for the Jazz.
Harden had team highs of 29 points and seven assists but also logged seven turnovers. He left for good at the 5:19 mark of the fourth quarter, then said the hamstring issue was “nothing serious.” Houston lost both games of Chris Paul’s suspension for his role in an altercation with Lakers guard Rajon Rondo on Saturday.
Raptors 112, Timberwolves 105
Kawhi Leonard scored 35 points and added five rebounds to help undefeated Toronto defeat visiting Minnesota. The Raptors have opened the season with five straight wins for the second time in franchise history, matching their start in 2015-16.
Kyle Lowry had his third consecutive double-double for Toronto with 13 points and 10 assists. Jonas Valanciunas added 16 points and nine rebounds, Serge Ibaka scored 15 points, and Norman Powell had 10 points in 13 minutes off the bench.
The Raptors have won 15 consecutive home games against the Timberwolves, who last won in Toronto on Jan. 21, 2004. Jimmy Butler led Minnesota with 23 points and six steals while Derrick Rose had 16 points.
Pacers 116, Spurs 96
Victor Oladipo poured in 21 points, and Domantas Sabonis added 16 points and 10 rebounds off the bench as visiting Indiana led throughout on the way to an easy victory over San Antonio.
Oladipo tallied 20-plus points for the fourth consecutive game as the Pacers earned their first win on the road in three tries this season. Indiana outshot the Spurs 52.9 percent to 40.2 percent and canned 17 of its 32 shots from beyond the 3-point arc.
DeMar DeRozan led San Antonio with 18 points, and Marco Belinelli had 16. LaMarcus Aldridge contributed 15 points and 13 rebounds.
Hawks 111, Mavericks 104
Veteran guard Kent Bazemore scored a season-high 32 points to help host Atlanta to a win over Dallas, giving first-year coach Lloyd Pierce a victory in newly refurbished State Farm Arena.
Bazemore’s 3-pointer with two minutes left gave Atlanta a 103-101 lead and helped the team come back from a 25-point, first-half deficit. Bazemore followed with a dunk the next trip down the floor, and Dallas never got closer than three points again.
The game featured a rookie matchup between Atlanta’s Trae Young and Dallas’ Luka Doncic, two first-round draft choices who were traded for each other. Doncic scored 21 points, shooting 7-for-18 with two 3-pointers and grabbing nine rebounds. Young scored 17 points with five assists and four rebounds.
Bulls 112, Hornets 110
Zach LaVine scored 32 points, including a pair of decisive free throws with 0.5 seconds left in the fourth quarter, and Chicago held on for a win over visiting Charlotte.
LaVine joined Michael Jordan (1986) as the only players in franchise history to start a season with four consecutive games of 30-plus points. He drove to the paint in the final seconds to draw a foul with the score tied at 110, then calmly made both free throws to lift Chicago to its first win.
Kemba Walker scored 23 points to lead the Hornets, who have lost back-to-back games. Cody Zeller added 14 points, and Nicolas Batum contributed 13 points.
Heat 110, Knicks 87
Hassan Whiteside posted 22 points, 14 rebounds and three blocks while Josh Richardson added 21 points and eight rebounds as host Miami dominated New York.
Rodney McGruder, Miami’s most surprising player so far this season, continued his good run with 19 points, six rebounds and five assists.
Miami, leading by just two points at halftime, outscored New York 45-20 in the third quarter to put the game away. The Heat made 75 percent of their third-quarter shots, including 8 of 10 from 3-point range.
Nets 102, Cavaliers 86
D’Angelo Russell scored 18 points and handed out eight assists, and Brooklyn ended a 10-game road losing streak to Cleveland by pulling away in the third quarter. The Nets won in Cleveland for the first time since April 3, 2013.
Russell scored 15 of his points before the Nets dominated the third quarter by a 38-17 margin. Joe Harris put up seven of his 16 points in the third while Jared Dudley contributed nine of his 12 points in the decisive quarter. Harris and Dudley were a combined 6 of 6 from the floor in the period.
Kevin Love led winless Cleveland with 14 points and 11 rebounds but shot 4 of 9 and did not take a shot during the decisive third quarter. Backups Jordan Clarkson and rookie Collin Sexton also scored 14 points apiece for the Cavaliers.
Kings 97, Grizzlies 92
Buddy Hield recorded 23 points and seven rebounds to help host Sacramento notch a victory over Memphis.
De’Aaron Fox contributed 21 points, eight rebounds and six assists for the Kings. Willie Cauley-Stein posted 15 points and 10 rebounds, Marvin Bagley III scored 13 points, and Nemanja Bjelica had 11 points and 11 rebounds.
Mike Conley scored 27 points for Memphis, which had a two-game winning streak snapped. Jaren Jackson Jr. scored 14 points before fouling out, Wayne Selden added 13, and Marc Gasol had 10 points and 10 rebounds before departing with an apparent shoulder injury.
—Field Level Media