Warriors shoot missiles, Mavs beat Knicks in New York December 4, 2022 by Editorial staff Golden State’s Andrew Wiggins shoots over Houston’s Tari Eason in the Warriors’ 120-101 NBA victory over the Rockets EZRA SHOW Font size RECASTS with Warriors win Andrew Wiggins scored a season-high 36 points on Saturday as the NBA champion Golden State Warriors got off to a hot start and held on Saturday in a 120-101 victory over the Houston Rockets. Wiggins scored a career-high eight three-pointers, including five in the third quarter when he scored 17 points. Warriors superstar Stephen Curry also had eight treys on his way to 30 points and Jordan Poole added 21 points as the Warriors clinched a 10th straight home win. But Warriors coach Steve Kerr said the defending champion still has room for improvement after letting go of a 25-point lead midway through the second quarter. The Rockets, led by Kevin Porter Jr. by 20 points, had narrowed the deficit to four points with 6:59 left in the game. The Warriors retreated again, but Kerr said they had to find a way to keep teams from running. “It was a phenomenal first 18 minutes,” said Kerr. “I thought that might have been the best stretch we’ve had all year going into the game. “We were defending, rebounding, doing everything right, and then we just lost focus. “That’s our biggest challenge right now, trying to hold our focus long enough to not give up leads and let teams back in,” added Kerr. Elsewhere, Dallas star Luka Doncic and Tim Hardaway Jr took it out on the New York Knicks in the third quarter en route to a 121-100 NBA win at Madison Square Garden. Doncic scored 30 points and Hardaway added 28 against his former team, the two combined for 36 points in the third quarter alone as the Mavs defeated the Knicks 41-15 to take over the game. The league’s top scorer, Doncic had a measly 11 points in the first quarter, but turned up the heat after the break. “It was a challenge to come out of the dressing room (in the second half) with more energy and better,” said Doncic. “You could see from the way we played the third quarter that we can really play basketball.” Jalen Brunson, who left Dallas for the Knicks on free duty after last season, finished with only 13 points. The Milwaukee Bucks secured a bounce-back victory despite the absence of two-time NBA Most Valuable Player Giannis Antetokounmpo, beating the Hornets 105-96 in Charlotte. Luka Doncic of the Dallas Mavericks and Mitchell Robinson of New York battle for a rebound in the Mavs’ 121-100 NBA victory over the Knicks Mike Stobe A day after a hard-fought 133-129 home loss to the Los Angeles Lakers, Antetokounmpo and Jrue Holiday were inactive, as was Khris Middleton – whose return from off-season wrist surgery is still carefully managed. Antetokounmpo, who scored 40 points against the Lakers, was out with a sore left knee. Holiday was reported out with a bruise to the left knee. Bucks coach Mike Budenholzer said he held them off given “the quick turnaround and with the back-to-back, kind of an early game, and just keeping the big picture in mind.” Bobby Portis stepped up to lead the Bucks by 20 points. Jordan Nwora added 17 points and Brook Lopez and Jevon Carter scored 14 each. Oklahoma City’s Shai Gilgeous-Alexander scored 33 points to lead seven Thunder players in double digits in a 135-128 victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves in Minneapolis. Josh Giddey added 21 points and 12 rebounds for the Thunder, who went into the fourth quarter trailing by four after the Timberwolves broke out for 44 points in the third period. D’Angelo Russell led Minnesota with 27 points and Anthony Edwards added 26. Timberwovles center Rudy Gobert was ejected in the second quarter for a flagrant foul after tripping Oklahoma City’s Kenrich Williams. The two had become entangled under the basket, Gobert tripping over the fallen Williams. Gobert himself fell and when Williams untied himself and stood up, Gobert reached out and tripped him. Williams’ angry response led to a technical foul. In Los Angeles, Sacramento center Domantas Sabonis connected on 10 of his 11 shots from the field en route to a game-high 24 points as the Kings beat the Clippers 123–96.