Durant powers Warriors
LOS ANGELES – Agence France-Presse
Kevin Durant finished with 35 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists for his ninth career triple double on Dec. 6 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.
“I think everybody just rallied around each other, from the coaches to the players to the trainers, everybody,” Durant said. “The defense was on point tonight and we got off to a good start.”
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’.”
Elsewhere, LeBron James nailed a clutch three-pointer with 16 seconds left as Cleveland won a record-tying 13th straight game with a 101-95 win over the Sacramento Kings.
James finished with 32 points, 11 rebounds and nine assists as the win equaled a Cleveland franchise record.
In New Orleans, DeMarcus Cousins had 40 points and 22 rebounds and Jrue Holiday tallied 27 points and seven assists to lift the New Orleans Pelicans to a 123-114 win over the Denver Nuggets.
Cousins finished just short of his season high with 41 points and 23 rebounds he recorded in a 114-106 road victory over Sacramento on Oct. 26.