Kevin Durant scored 25 of his 41 points in Golden State’s ruthless fourth-quarter clinic, and the Warriors beat the New York Knicks 128-100 on Friday night.
New York led by three after three quarters before Durant and the Warriors starting hitting from all over the floor, making 19 of 26 shots — and things went so well that on a rare long-range miss by Durant, the ball bounced all the way out behind the arc to a wide-open Stephen Curry, who made the 3-pointer.
Curry added 29 points and six 3-pointers, giving him at least five in every game this season. But on the floor where he scored a career-best 54 points in 2013, his performance seemed almost quiet because of Durant.
Durant was the center of attention leading into the game and then the star of it, putting on a show in front of fans who hope he will consider Madison Square Garden his home if he becomes a free agent this summer.
He finished 17 of 24 from the floor, including 5 of 9 from behind the arc, and grabbed nine rebounds.
Tim Hardaway Jr. scored 24 points for the Knicks, who have dropped five in a row after a season-opening victory over Atlanta. Golden State outscored New York 47-16 in the fourth quarter.
Knicks coach David Fizdale changed up his starting lineup, going with Hardaway, Frank Ntilikina, Noah Vonleh, Damyean Dotson and rookie Mitchell Robinson, and the group provided a strong start and a 16-10 lead.
But it was quickly wiped out mostly by Curry, who made his first five shots, with three of them behind the arc.
Durant drew plenty of attention upon his arrival and a loud ovation when he was announced with the starting lineups. He can become a free agent after this season and Knicks fans hope he can speed up their rebuilding. A billboard urging him to come to New York popped up on a building near Madison Square Garden this week.
He showed Knicks fans what they would be getting with a fourth-quarter flurry while Curry was on the bench. He had 10 points in a 12-4 spurt that turned a six-point deficit into a 93-91 lead with 8:16 to play, and then followed Burke’s 3-pointer that gave New York its last lead with five straight points.
Warriors: Golden State stays in town to face the Brooklyn Nets on Sunday. It’s the first time the Warriors have played the two New York teams on the same trip. … Draymond Green scored 18 points.
Knicks: New York has lost the last nine meetings. … Ntilikina scored 17 points and Trey Burke, the former starting point guard, had 15.
DeMarcus Cousins isn’t even playing for Golden State yet and he’s been ejected from a game.
It was unclear what happened with the volatile center, who was sitting in street clothes on the Golden State bench not far from where Curry had made a 3-pointer on a shot where it appeared he may have also drawn contact.
As play resumed following a timeout with 2:28 remaining in the first quarter, it was announced that Cousins had been assessed a technical foul during the break, and then subsequently ejected.
Cousins is still recovering from a ruptured Achilles tendon. He took part in his first practice with the Warriors on Thursday, but there is still no timetable for his return to action.
Warriors coach Steve Kerr, who has been outspoken about President Donald Trump and gun violence, was asked if was concerned for his own safety in the wake of the mail bombs sent to prominent Democrats.
“A little bit, yeah,” Kerr said. “I think we should all be concerned. No matter who you are you need to be concerned, not just of the bombs, but just somebody shooting you,” adding it was a “dangerous time to be alive right now” in the U.S.
Kerr’s father, Malcolm Kerr, a professor who served as president of the American University of Beirut, was shot and killed outside his office in 1984.
Warriors: Visit Brooklyn on Sunday.
Knicks: Host Brooklyn on Monday.
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