Durant too good for ex-team as Warriors defeat Thunder
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