Instant Replay: Warriors wake up in second half, rally past Kings

Instant Replay: Warriors wake up in second half, rally past Kings


SACRAMENTO -- Bouncing back from their most alarming loss of the season, the Warriors made their debut at Golden 1 Center a successful one Sunday with a 117-106 win over the Sacramento Kings.

Though the Warriors (32-6) started slowly, trailing by as much as 16 in the first half, they recovered with a strong third quarter to beat their Northern California neighbors for the 13th consecutive time.

Veteran forward Rudy Gay led the Kings with 23 points, 15 of which came in the opening quarter. Sacramento (15-22) lost for the fifth time in six games.

On a night when wealth was spread fairly evenly, all five starters share the honor.

Durant’s line: 28 points (9-of-15 shooting, including 2-of-4 from deep, 8-of-9 from the line), seven rebounds, six assists and four blocks. He played 36 minutes and finished plus-6.

Draymond Green’s line: 9 points (4-of-9, 1-of-4 from deep), 10 assists and seven rebounds, two steals and two blocks. He played 32 minutes and finished plus-21.

Pachulia’s line: 10 points (4-of-5, 2-of-2 from the line), seven rebounds, three steals and two assists. He played 22 minutes and finished plus-15.

Thompson’s line: 18 points (8-of-19 shooting, 1-of-7, 1-of-2), six rebounds and two assists. He played 36 minutes and was plus-18.

Curry’s line: 30 points (11-of-21, 5-of-11, 3-of-3), six assists and four rebounds. He played 37 minutes and was plus-14.

Trailing 64-55 with 10:38 left in the third quarter, the Warriors used strong defense and transition baskets to fashion a 22-3 run, for a 77-67 lead with 5:32 remaining in the quarter.

Scoring was evenly distributed during the rally, Thompson scoring 6 points and Durant and Curry 5 each.

The Warriors outscored the Kings 39-22 in the third quarter, during which they held Sacramento to 31.3-percent shooting from the field.

The Kings got no closer than eight in the fourth quarter.

Warriors: No injuries were listed. C Damian Jones is on assignment with Santa Cruz of the Development League.

Kings: F Rudy Gay (R hip flexor strain) was listed as probable, upgraded to available and entered the starting lineup.

The Warriors return to Oracle Arena on Tuesday night, when they will face the Miami Heat. Tipoff is scheduled for 7:30.


Durant building 'Thunder Stopper' reputation after 40-point effort

Durant building 'Thunder Stopper' reputation after 40-point effort

OAKLAND -- Kevin Durant, Thunder Stopper? With a second consecutive magnificent performance in decisive wins over his former Oklahoma City teammates, Durant may be adding a nickname.

Durant on Wednesday night posted his first 40-point game as a Warrior, carrying them to a 121-100 win over the Thunder at Oracle Arena.

He has scored 79 points in two games against OKC, taking only 40 shots to ring up such an impressive total. He was 13-of-16 Wednesday night and 15-of-24 in scoring 39 points in a 122-96 win on Nov. 3 at Oracle.

Though Durant downplayed his production, his coach and teammates were not surprised he has been so good against the team with which he spent nine seasons.

“It’s still kind of fresh, but we can’t deny the history of him with OKC,” Stephen Curry said.

“Every player in the NBA wants to play well against his old team,” coach Steve Kerr said. “For most guys, you feel that extra juice when you play against a team that you played on.”

Durant not only finished with a season-high point total but also added a team-best 12 rebounds, along with four assists and three blocks. He practically stamped his signature on the game.

“My teammates are doing a good job of freeing me up,” said Durant, who drilled 5-of-7 from beyond the arc. “I put the work in and prepared myself for every game. I just happened to knock them down.”

It’s not just that Durant was facing his former team, though. He was, once again, on opposite sides from longtime teammate and erstwhile friend Russell Westbrook. The two have not had much to say to each other since Durant’s decision last July to leave OKC and sign with the Warriors.

Little changed Wednesday night, though the two had a brief exchange in the second half, as Durant headed to the line to shoot a pair of free throws.

Asked if the two have talked, Westbrook said, “Nah,” despite the brief dialogue.

Durant carefully avoided saying anything remotely inflammatory about Westbrook or any of his former teammates.

“It’s good to see everybody,” he said. “Once the ball is tipped, you’re just playing. You’re just hooping. It’s as simple as that. But it’s definitely good to see everybody.”

Durant’s lone lowlight came when he blew a dunk with 1:45 left in the first half, taking flight about 10 feet from the basket and slamming the ball off the back of the rim and nearly to halfcourt.

“I thought I made it,” Durant said, “and then I heard the crowd.

“I was kind of upset. I tried to dunk it too hard, I think. I might have jumped from a little too far out. As I was close to the rim, I felt myself coming down a little earlier than usual.

“But, yeah, I should have made that one. That would have brought the crowd to its feet. But, hopefully, I’ll get another opportunity.”

The crowd was on its feet plenty, as was the case during Durant’s previous display against OKC. The Thunder won’t be back to Oakland this season.

Durant will have another chance to go after his former team and burnish his credentials as a Thunder Stopper when the teams meet on Feb. 11 in Oklahoma City.


Westbrook on Pachulia's flagrant foul: 'I'm going to get his ass back'

Westbrook on Pachulia's flagrant foul: 'I'm going to get his ass back'

Late in the first half of Wednesday's game between the Warriors and Thunder, Russell Westbrook collided with Zaza Pachulia.

Pachulia appeared to hit Westbrook in the face. The Thunder guard hit the floor and rolled around for a few seconds before bouncing back up.

The officials reviewed the play and assessed a flagrant foul on Pachulia.

After the game, Westbrook was asked about his vantage point on the play and he didn't hold back.

"I don't know. He me kind of hard. But it's alright. I'm going to get his ass back. Straight up," Westbrook said.

He was then asked if he noticed Pachulai standing over him.

"I didn't see that until just now, but I don't play that game. I'm going to get his ass back. Whenever that is, I don't know, but I don't play that game," Westbrook said.

Westbrook's comments were brought to Pachulia after the game and the Warriors center offered this rebuttal.

"I can't worry about that kind of comment. I'm part of an amazing team and we have a great goal of winning a championship. I'm all in with my energy, 100 percent. So we're thinking about this team, staying healthy, moving forward, getting better, getting to the playoffs and playing for the championship. That's what I'm thinking about. I'm not thinking about those kind of comments. That team is not there, so they may be thinking about other stuff like getting me back. Okay, you can get me back. But again, it's my 14th year, we all know what my game is, to play hard, not dirty. If it was a hard foul, it was a hard foul. It wasn't dirty at all. I'm not worried about this," Pachulia told the media.

Westbrook will get that chance on February 11 when the Warriors travel to Oklahoma City.