NBA scores, highlights, results: Thunder host Warriors sans Kevin Durant in West showdown; Celtics survive Hawks
The Boston Celtics opened the day with an Eastern Conference battle against the Atlanta Hawks. Boston saw a double-digit lead evaporate in the second half before ultimately coming away with a nine-point victory.
The Golden State Warriors enter Saturday’s contest against the Oklahoma City Thunder with four losses in their last seven games. All-Star forward Kevin Durant missed Wednesday’s 106-104 win over the Houston Rockets due to an ankle contusion he suffered last weekend, and won’t be active for this contest either. On the other side, the Thunder are coming off one of their most deflating losses of the season as they blew a 19-point second half lead against the Indiana Pacers.
Meanwhile, two of the better teams in the NBA face off when the Denver Nuggets host the Pacers. The Nuggets are coming off a heart-pounding buzzer-beating victory in which star center Nikola Jokic hit a winning jumper as time expired against the Dallas Mavericks. Denver will be looking to catch Golden State for the top spot in the Western Conference, and a win — coupled with a Warriors loss — would tie them for the top spot.
NBA schedule for Saturday, March 16
*All times Eastern
Brown rocks the rim in transition
The Celtics turned defense into offense late in the second quarter against the Hawks. After Jayson Tatum tapped the ball free, Jaylen Brown found himself in open space and threw down a massive one-handed slam dunk.
Durant ruled out against Thunder
In last Sunday’s loss against the Suns, star forward Kevin Durant suffered an ankle injury when he attempted to pass the ball out of the post and came down awkwardly. Durant missed Wednesday’s game against the Rockets and was viewed as a question mark for Saturday’s contest against the Thunder. However, head coach Steve Kerr revealed that Durant has been ruled out against Oklahoma City, but “most likely” will play against the Spurs on Monday.
Irving makes Young look foolish
Kyrie Irving has a reputation as one of the most talented ball-handlers around the NBA. However, Irving completely shook Trae Young on a drive in the opening quarter against the Hawks.