Du­rant pow­ers War­riors, James owns Kings

The Jakarta Post - - SPORTS -

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.

AFP/ Streeter Lecka

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.

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