Warriors even series, T’Wolves avoid elimination

by Jacob Fuller

Rob Issa, FISM News

Stephen Curry and the Golden State Warriors have evened their first-round playoff series to make it a best-of-three starting Wednesday.

Curry scored 32 points and the Warriors overcame his mental blunder late in the game to beat the Sacramento Kings 126-125 on Sunday in Game 4 of their Western Conference series. After losing the first two games on the road, the defending NBA champions won two in a row to knot the series at 2-2.

The Kings had a chance to win after Curry called a timeout the Warriors didn’t have but Harrison Barnes missed a 3-pointer at the buzzer.

“These games are coming down to the wire, and you’ve just got to really finish possessions and try to give yourself the best chance, and then sometimes, it’s just, does the ball go in or not,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr said.

De’Aaron Fox had 38 points, nine rebounds, and five assists for Sacramento. He was double-teamed on the final possession and dished to Barnes.

“Wide open,” Barnes said. “Fox trusted me to take that shot. Back rim. On to the next but I feel confident in where we are.”

Warriors forward Draymond Green returned from a one-game suspension and told Kerr to bring him in off the bench to keep Jordan Poole in the starting lineup. Green ended up with 12 points, 10 rebounds, and seven assists.

“I’m a firm believer if something isn’t broke you don’t fix it,” Green said.

Game 5 is Wednesday night in Sacramento.


In New York, Jalen Brunson scored 29 points, RJ Barrett had 26 and the Knicks defeated the Cleveland Cavaliers 102-93 to take a 3-1 lead in their first-round Eastern Conference series.

Josh Hart added 19 points and seven rebounds for the Knicks, who seek their first playoff series win since 2013.

“There’s nothing to celebrate,” Brunson said, pointing out the series isn’t over. “There’s nothing to be truly happy about.”

Game 5 is Wednesday night in Cleveland.

Donovan Mitchell only scored just 11 points and Darius Garland had 23 points and 10 assists for the Cavaliers, who are the higher seed.

“This isn’t over with,” Mitchell said. “The way we lost stinks. We can’t hang our heads and ultimately give up. We’re not that type of group. Like I said, we’ll be ready for Game 5.”


In Atlanta, Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum each scored 31 points and the Boston Celtics beat the Hawks 129-121 to take a commanding 3-1 lead in their first-round series.

Brown and Tatum combined to score their team’s final 16 points, Marcus Smart added 19 points and Derrick White had 18. Boston would advance to face the Philadelphia 76ers in the second round with one more victory on Tuesday night.

Trae Young led Atlanta with 35 points and 15 assists, De’Andre Hunter had 27 and DeJounte Murray scored 23.

“They came out with a sense of urgency, and it showed,” Young said. “They’re a really good team. They’re here for a reason.”


In Minnesota, the Timberwolves avoided elimination with a 114-108 overtime victory over the Denver Nuggets. Anthony Edwards scored 34 points and Karl-Anthony Towns had 17 points and 11 rebounds for Minnesota.

“I take pride. I didn’t want to say I got swept,” Edwards said. “I don’t ever want to say I got swept in my career. So, I definitely took it personally tonight.”

The top-seeded Nuggets were led by Nikola Jokic, who tied a playoff career-high with 43 points and added 11 rebounds and six assists. Jamal Murray finished with 19 points and Aaron Gordon scored 14 for Denver, which returns home for Game 5 on Tuesday with another opportunity to clinch the series.

“We had an opportunity to close a series,” Jokic said. “We just didn’t. They were fighting. They were desperate. But it is what it is.”