Durant powers Warriors, James owns Kings
Kevin Durant finished with 35 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists for his ninth career triple double on Wednesday as the under-manned Golden State Warriors defeated the Charlotte Hornets 101-87.
The Warriors won their fifth straight and the seventh in their last eight games despite playing without superstar Stephen Curry and forward Draymond Green.
Durant had 16 points in the first quarter, quickly setting the tone for the game at the Spectrum Center arena. He finished 13 of 28 from the field and hit three three-pointers.
Durant said his teammates did a good job of picking up the slack with Curry and Green out.
Golden State coach Steve Kerr was impressed with the way Durant carried the team to victory.
“What a luxury to be able to just throw him the ball, especially with Steph out,” Kerr said. “He took over. It wasn’t really scripted, it was just a natural product of Steph being out, Draymond being out.
“He was attacking from the start. It was like a ‘I’ve got this’.”
The Warriors cruised to a 48-22 lead in the second quarter and never trailed, improving to 20-6 on the season.
Charlotte pulled to within seven points halfway through the fourth quarter, but the Warriors built the lead back up to 16.
The Warriors also got 22 points from Klay Thompson and 10 points from Nick Young. Curry sat out the contest after suffering a sprained ankle in New Orleans two nights ago. Green was a late scratch because of a shoulder injury. Charlotte was without their coach Steve Clifford, who missed his second game with an illness.
Kemba Walker had a teamhigh 24 points for the Hornets, who dropped to 9-14. Nicolas Batum scored 15 and Dwight Howard had 14.
Golden State led 26-18 after one quarter, 53-38 at halftime, and 79-68 after three quarters.
Elsewhere, LeBron James nailed a clutch three-pointer with 16 seconds left as Cleveland won a record-tieing 13th straight game with a 101-95 win over the Sacramento Kings on Wednesday.
James finished with 32 points, 11 rebounds and nine assists as the win equaled a Cleveland franchise record.
There were about five seconds left on the shot clock when time was called with 20 seconds left and Cleveland clinging to a twopoint lead.
Coach Tyronn Lue said he intended to call a different play in the huddle, but James wanted “Chicago,” a play named for James’ turnaround jumper at the buzzer in game four of the 2015 conference semi-finals against the Chicago Bulls.
Powerful: Kevin Durant (35) of the Golden State Warriors shoots over Charlotte Hornets teammates Marvin Williams (2) and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist (14) during their game at the Spectrum Center in Charlotte, North Carolina, United States, on Wednesday.