Stephen Curry returned to lead reigning NBA champions the Golden State Warriors to a 141-128 win over the Memphis Grizzlies.
Curry had been sidelined with an ankle injury since December 4 but he was back on the court on Saturday, scoring 38 points on 10-of-13 shooting from beyond the arc.
During his scoring barrage, Curry became the only player this season with 35 points entering the fourth quarter while playing fewer than 25 minutes.
It was also his 16th career game with at least nine made three-point field goals, which is the most such games in the NBA over the last 35 seasons.
The Warriors lit up Memphis on the offensive end from start to finish, posting 78 points in the first half. Golden State kept their foot on the pedal in the third quarter, pouring in 38 more points.
Klay Thompson added 21 points for the Warriors, and Kevin Durant scored 20 points with nine rebounds.
Meanwhile, birthday boy LeBron James tasted defeat after the Cleveland Cavaliers were upstaged 104-101 by the Utah Jazz.
It was supposed to be cause for celebration for James but the Cavaliers crashed to their third consecutive defeat.
James had 29 points, eight rebounds and six assists on his 33rd birthday.
GORDON, DRUMMOND STAR
Orlando Magic forward Aaron Gordon scored 39 points on 14-of-22 shooting and seven rebounds in a tough-luck 117-111 loss to the Miami Heat. In just his second game back from injury, Gordon gave Magic fans something to cheer about despite losing the game.
Detroit Pistons center Andre Drummond continued his All-Star form in a 93-79 win over the San Antonio Spurs by scoring 14 points with 21 rebounds and six assists. Drummond has now posted a double-double in five straight games.
BLAZERS FEEL LILLARD’S ABSENCE
CJ McCollum was unable to step up in Damian Lillard’s absence, scoring 18 points on just eight-of-21 shooting in a 104-89 loss to the Atlanta Hawks for the Portland Trail Blazers. McCollum is averaging more than 21 points per game this season, but his shooting percentage has taken a bit of a hit.
SIMMONS SAYS NO!
Ben Simmons proved defense matters too.
Detroit Pistons 93-79 San Antonio Spurs
Miami Heat 117-111 Orlando Magic
New York Knicks 105-103 New Orleans Pelicans
Atlanta Hawks 104-89 Portland Trail Blazers
Utah Jazz 104-101 Cleveland Cavaliers
Golden State Warriors 141-128 Memphis Grizzlies
Philadelphia 76ers 107-102 Denver Nuggets
LAKERS AT ROCKETS
Both teams are riding five-game losing streaks, and Houston’s knocked out of the top spot in the Western Conference. The Rockets’ defense has been abysmal during their recent skid, allowing more than 110 points in four of the five losses. The Los Angeles Lakers’ last win was at Houston earlier this month.