Basketball

No Curry, but Durant spices it up

Under-manned Golden State Warriors win fifth straight game

Kevin Durant finished with 35 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists for his ninth career triple double as the under-manned Golden State Warriors defeated the Charlotte Hornets 101-87 yesterday morning (Singapore time).

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 that his teammates did a good job of picking up the slack with Curry and Green out.

"Everybody just rallied around one another, from the coaches to the players to the trainers, everybody," Durant said.

"The defence 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.

What a luxury to be able to just throw him the ball, especially with Steph out. Golden state Warriors coach steve Kerr on Kevin Durant

"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 were without their coach Steve Clifford, who missed his second game with an illness.

Golden State led 26-18 after one quarter, 53-38 at half-time, and 79-68 after three quarters.

Elsewhere, LeBron James nailed a clutch three-pointer with 16 seconds left as Cleveland won a record-equalling 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 tied a Cleveland franchise record.

JAMES DOES A CHICAGO

There were about five seconds left on the shot clock when time was called with 20 seconds left and Cleveland clinging to a two-point lead.

Coach Tyronn Lue said that 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.

"So I said, 'okay'," Lue said.

"We got it to him and he made a big shot. That was a huge play to put us up five."

The Cavaliers can set a franchise record win streak against the Indiana Pacers tomorrow morning. - AFP

OTHER RESULTS

LA Clippers 107 Minnesota 113, San Antonio 117 Miami 105, Milwaukee 104 Detroit 100, New Orleans 123 Denver 114, Boston 97 Dallas 90, NY Knicks 99 Memphis 88, Cleveland 101 Sacramento 95, Indiana 98 Chicago 96, Orlando 110 Atlanta 106 (OT)

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