Tonight was the much anticipated return of Kevin Durant and it was great to see him. He wasted no time getting on the board.
Durant played just under 31 minutes, mostly because the Warriors were up by 30 early in the fourth quarter. In that time, he managed his 22nd double-double of the season, scoring 16 and getting 10 rebounds.
And he wasn’t alone in the double-digit scoring. Though there were no huge standout performances, seven Warriors players, including four starters, scored 10+. Klay Thompson had a team-high 20 points and Draymond Green had 13 points and eight rebounds.
But it was the bench who made the biggest difference in this game, with the Warriors reserves outscoring their starters and both Pelican units with 58 points. Featuring strong performances from Andre Iguodala (15 pts/5 reb/5 ast), Javale McGee (16 pts/6 reb) and Ian Clark (17 pts/4 reb/4 ast).
This game kicked off with the Warriors going on a 9-3 run, but they got sluggish on offense early in the first quarter, allowing the Pelicans to come back and take the lead. This was somewhat of a theme in the first half. Despite athletic performances on defense from Green and Iguodala, the shots just weren’t going in.
A couple of pairs of free throws from Thompson and two 3-pointers from Draymond to close the half, though, put them up 54-46.
However, as they are known to do, the Warriors feasted in the third quarter. Kicked off by a pair of back-to-back field goals from Durant, the quarter was a 39-22 bloodbath. McGee led the way in a parade of dunks, with Thompson topping it off with a Curry-esque buzzer-beater.
Iguodala kicked off the fourth quarter on a solo 7-1 run, and Clark got hot - showing once again what he can do when he gets solid minutes. A rare James Michael McAdoo shot from downtown was the final highlight of the night as the Warriors put this one away early.
- Matt Barnes sprained his right ankle/foot early in the second quarter and left the game. X-rays were negative but he did not return to the game.
Warriors forward Matt Barnes (right ankle/foot sprain) said he will be ready for the playoffs.— Marc J. Spears (@MarcJSpearsESPN) April 9, 2017
- Some records made:
Golden State has its 50th 30-assist game of the season, joining the 1984-85 Lakers as the only teams to dish out 30+ assists in 50 games— Warriors PR (@WarriorsPR) April 9, 2017
- Following in the tradition of Warriors babies at the post-game press conferences, Green brought his son out for a visit after the game tonight: