Du­rant too good for ex-team as War­riors de­feat Thun­der

Kuwait Times - - SPORTS -

OAK­LAND:

Kevin Du­rant matched his ca­reer high with seven 3-point­ers and scored 39 points, coolly knock­ing down long jumpers while thor­oughly em­bar­rass­ing Rus­sell Westbrook and his old Ok­la­homa City team in Golden State’s 122-96 rout of the Thun­der on Thurs­day night. This re­match of the West­ern Con­fer­ence Fi­nals won by the War­riors in seven games quickly turned into the KD show at sold-out Or­a­cle Arena, where OKC (4-1) took its first loss to leave LeBron James and the cham­pion Cava­liers as the league’s lone un­beaten team. So much for this one be­ing just like any other game for Du­rant. Even he knew it would cer­tainly mean more once the ball was tipped, a matchup cir­cled on cal­en­dars ev­ery­where from the mo­ment he joined the War­riors in July. Westbrook was held to 20 points - yes, that’s right - af­ter com­ing in as the NBA’s lead­ing scorer av­er­ag­ing 37.8 points. Stephen Curry added 21 points and seven as­sists while Klay Thomp­son emerged from his 3 point funk to make four from long range on the way to 18 points in the War­riors’ fourth straight win.

CAVA­LIERS 128, CELTICS 122

LeBron James scored a sea­son-high 30 points and the reign­ing NBA cham­pion Cava­liers stayed un­de­feated, beat­ing the Celtics. James moved within two points of pass­ing Ha­keem Ola­ju­won for 10th place on the NBA’s al­ltime scor­ing list. Ola­ju­won had 26,946 points, a to­tal James will likely sur­pass Satur­day night in Philadel­phia. The Cava­liers are 5-0 for the first time since 1976-77 when they started 8-0. Kevin Love scored 26 points, also a sea­son high, while Kyrie Irv­ing added 23 for the Cava­liers. Tristan Thomp­son recorded a dou­ble-dou­ble in the first half, fin­ish­ing with 15 points and 14 re­bounds. Isa­iah Thomas scored 30 points and Avery Bradley had 26 for the Celtics, who played with­out two starters, cen­ter Al Hor­ford (con­cus­sion) and for­ward Jae Crow­der (sprained left an­kle).

BUCKS 125, PAC­ERS 106

Gian­nis An­te­tok­oun­mpo and Jabari Parker each had 27 points to lead the Bucks past the Pac­ers.

Paul Ge­orge scored 23 points, re­serve C.J. Miles added 19, Jeff Teague had 16 and Myles Turner 15, but it wasn’t enough as the Pac­ers slipped to 0-3 on the road. When Parker hit from in close and then from be­yond the arc to open the fourth quar­ter, it looked like the Bucks would coast to their third win of the sea­son. In­di­ana had other ideas and closed with a flurry led by Ge­orge who hit a 3-pointer with 9:28 to go, cut­ting the deficit to 95-82. When Turner made two free throws and Thad­deus Young hit a bas­ket, the Bucks’ lead was nine.

MAGIC 102, KINGS 94

Evan Fournier scored 29 points and Serge Ibaka added 17 to lead the Magic to a vic­tory over the Kings. In one of their bet­ter of­fen­sive games this sea­son, the Magic had five play­ers score in dou­ble fig­ures with Aaron Gor­don con­tribut­ing a dou­ble-dou­ble with 13 points and 10 re­bounds, while re­serve Jeff Green scored 15 points. The Magic (2-3) won backto-back games for the first time this sea­son as they re­turned home from a three-game trip. DeMar­cus Cousins led all scor­ers with 33 points, while Rudy Gay added 16 for the Kings (2-4), who have lost three straight on their cur­rent five-game road swing.

NUGGETS 102, TIM­BER­WOLVES 99

Danilo Gal­li­nari scored 19 points and Jusuf Nur­kic added 18 to help the Nuggets out­last the Tim­ber­wolves. Wil­son Chan­dler added 19 points to lead an im­pres­sive per­for­mance by Den­ver’s sec­ond unit to erase a 15-point sec­ond-quar­ter deficit. The Nuggets outscored Min­nesota 45-23 off the bench and shot 48 per­cent for their sec­ond win of the sea­son. Karl-An­thony Towns had 32 points and 14 re­bounds and An­drew Wig­gins scored 25 for the Tim­ber­wolves, who gave away a lead of at least 15 points for the third time in four games this sea­son. Ne­manja Bjel­ica scored 10 of his 14 points in the fourth quar­ter, but his 3-pointer at the buzzer went in and out. — AP

OAK­LAND: James Michael McA­doo #20 of the Golden State War­riors looks to pass the ball against Se­maj Chris­ton #6 and Kyle Sin­gler #15 of the Ok­la­homa City Thun­der at OR­A­CLE Arena on Thurs­day in Oak­land, Cal­i­for­nia. —AFP

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