Curry scored 37, and Durant scored for low season 19 as he defeated Warriors Nets
New York Stephen Curry walked off the field to a final chorus of “MVP! best player! Hymns, a voice that even thought was strange.
It is, after all, the yard of Kevin Durant’s home.
It was a Carrie night, though.
Curry scored 37 points, easily winning a game between the two NBA’s top goalscorers when Durant had his worst night of the season, and the Golden State Warriors beat the Brooklyn Nets 117-99 on Tuesday.
The bout with his former teammate accelerated Curry, as well as the chance to recover from the loss in Charlotte on Sunday.
“So there are no playoffs, but there is strength that you have to show to beat a team like this,” Curry said. “You thrive from this competitive atmosphere, knowing that there is so much talent on Earth.”
Durant came top of the league with 29.6 points per game, but managed only 19 points, the first time all season that he did not score 20. He shot 0 for 8 in the decisive third quarter and finished 6 for 19 after sitting in fourth place.
“They have tall defenders, guys who can help, so seeing corpses all the time when I have the ball, that’s what great defenses do. After that, I wish I had recovered some shots,” Durant said. “I sped a few times as soon as we got to 15, 20. I try to get it back so fast that you end up taking bad shots and rushing shots.”
Curry nearly caught his former NBA teammate, making nine three-pointers and raising his average to 28.7 per game. Durant fell to 28.9.
A lot of his struggles were due to his defense of Draymond Green, the former Defensive Player of the Year.
“I wanted that challenge,” Green said, saying he was “very fit” with him.
It was way better than that.
“You can’t do a better defensive job than Draymond did tonight,” said Warriors coach Steve Kerr.
Curry was 12 to 19 overall, with fans chanting loudly at his long shots and giving him “Best Player! Best Player!” cheers as Durant and the home team missed.
Andrew Wiggins added 19 points for the Warriors who improved their NBA record to 12-2.
James Harden scored 24 points for the Nets, who returned from a wild ride 5-1 and fell in the nationally televised game. Durant won both games last season against the Warriors, his first game for Brooklyn after his departure from Golden State.
But this is a Warriors team that has improved a lot this season and showed it during the dominant third quarter when they outplayed the Nets 35-18 after closing out the first half.
Wiggins had the first two baskets of the third and Curry the next, pushing a five-point lead to 71-58. Both had to go to the bench during the period with their fourth foul, but the Warriors did some of their best work without them.
Golden State ran an 18-5 run and kept Brooklyn on only one field goal in just over six minutes. Andre Iguodala beat the bell with a 3-pointer to end the quarter, scoring 98-76.
Curry then made back-to-back 30-foot shots early in the fourth to clear it out.
Golden State shot 13 of 18 (72%) in third, while the net was 5 for 22.
The game was played at an initially high level in front of an emphatically divided crowd that grew louder with each kick as Curry hit his first four three-pointers. The Nets had their first six shots of the game and went 34-31 after one, with Durant and Curry each collecting 12 points.
Wiggins made 3 throws in the last two baskets of the inning, one in the bell giving Golden State a 63-58 lead.
Warriors: Curry’s first basket in the game was his third index of 2,900. It’s close to Ray Allen’s NBA number of 2,973. … Green scored 11 points, eight assists and six rebounds.
Nets: Patty Mills made his first start of the season in place of Joe Harris, who has a sprained left ankle. Coach Steve Nash said Harris may miss a few games before his ankle is checked again. Brooklyn used the same starting lineup in their previous 11 games. …Bruce Brown scored 14 points.
Kerr said Klay Thompson played 5v5 in San Francisco on Monday and was expected to do so again Wednesday. The star has not played since the 2019 NBA Finals due to a knee injury and then an Achilles tendon injury.
It’s still the same
Kerr was asked if Durant is a better player now than he was during his three seasons with the Warriors, when he was twice in the NBA Finals before rupturing his Achilles in Game Five of the 2019 Finals.
“He was pretty good at the time, so he doesn’t look any different to me after an Achilles injury that kept him out for a year and a half,” Kerr said. “So that says something. But I don’t think you can tell he had an injury, given his ability, his speed, his explosiveness.”
Warriors: Visit Cleveland on Thursday.
Nets: Host Cleveland on Wednesday.
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