Without injured Curry, Durant leads Warriors
OAKLAND (AP) — One night last week, Kevin Durant sat out. On Monday, it was Stephen Curry with the same bruised thigh muscle that sidelined the NBA Finals MVP.
Both games, Golden State showed off its remarkable depth, withstanding the absence of a big star.
Durant had 21 points, a season-high eight assists and seven rebounds, Shaun Livingston scored a season-best 16 points in place of the injure Curry, and the champion Warriors pulled away in the second half to beat the Orlando Magic 110-100 for their seventh straight win.
Draymond Green had a season-high 20 points, five assists, four rebounds and two steals as the Warriors completed an unbeaten four-game homestand.
Klay Thompson credited the front office for keeping the talented, loaded roster intact.
“It’s what’s been able to propel us to three straight Finals,” Thompson said. “Our depth’s been incredible.”
Nikola Vucevic scored 20 points, Evan Fournier had 16 and Aaron Gordon added 10 points and 10 rebounds in the Magic’s fourth defeat over six games.
Livingston also had six assists on a night they were without Curry as he nursed a bruised right thigh from where he took a knee Saturday night. Durant sat out with the same injury to his left leg last Wednesday against Minnesota.
Coach Steve Kerr called them similar injuries and is being cautious with two-time MVP Curry, who sat out on his bobblehead giveaway night and has only been receiving treatment on the leg without any on-court work.
“If it was a playoff game he would play, but he’s pretty sore,” Kerr said. “We’ve got two days before our next game so this gives us the chance to really get him healthy and right. ... It’s a no-brainer to rest him.”
Thompson contributed 15 points, five assists and four rebounds in Golden State’s ninth straight victory against the Magic and fifth in a row at Oracle Arena. David West added 11 rebounds and five of the Warriors’ 35 assists.
“This is good for us, honestly,” Livingston said.
“All I know is that we’re really, really lucky to have the talent that we do,” Kerr said. “We can win games without Steph or KD or Draymond or Klay because we’ve got a lot of guys and a lot of guys who can really play. It’s an incredible roster and we should be able to win games when some of our stars are down.