LOS ANGELES, USA – Kevin Durant erupted for 44 points and Klay Thompson also bailed out Golden State as the Warriors slipped past the Sacramento Kings, 117-116, in the NBA at the Oracle Arena in Oakland on Saturday, November 24 (Sunday, November 25, Manila time).
Thompson nailed the game-winning putback off his own miss with 5.8 seconds left to cap a 31-point performance.
“I don’t know if I got fouled, but who cares I got the putback,” Thompson said. “You’ll take a game-winner any way you can get it I don’t care how ugly it is.”
Two-time reigning NBA finals MVP Durant – who built his season-high explosion on a 13-of-26 clip from the field (50%) and 16-of-17 from the free throw line (94%) – also hauled down 13 rebounds and dished out 7 assists.
The defending champions, who snapped a four-game skid versus the Portland Trail Blazers just a day earlier, improved to a 14-7 record.
Golden State coach Steve Kerr went with the same starting lineup against Sacramento.
The Kings made the Warriors work hard for the victory as De’Aaron Fox made two free throws with 26 seconds remaining to put Sacramento ahead, 116-115, after Thompson missed a 33-footer moments earlier.
The game winner! pic.twitter.com/hV6ROIweQd— Golden State Warriors (@warriors) November 25, 2018
Thompson shot 12-of-26 with 5 three-pointers as Stephen Curry missed his ninth straight game because of a strained left groin.
Curry, the two-time MVP, was re-examined Saturday and is expected to resume practicing next week with a good chance he would return to game action during an upcoming five-game road trip.
“He’s doing much better and we’re just going to keep taking it day by day,” Kerr said.
Kevin Durant goes off for a season-high 44 PTS (17 in the 4th), along with 13 REB, 7 AST, guiding the @warriors past SAC at home!#DubNation 117#SacramentoProud 116— NBA (@NBA) November 25, 2018
Klay Thompson: 31 PTS, 5 3PM
Damian Jones: 13 PTS, 6 REB
Marvin Bagley III: 20 PTS, 17 REB pic.twitter.com/rBfv429qip
Meanwhile, Karl-Anthony Towns had 35 points and 22 rebounds, Derrick Rose came off the bench to score 22 points and the Minnesota Timberwolves beat the Chicago Bulls 111-96.
Jeff Teague added 18 points for Minnesota, which pulled away late to win for the fifth time in 7 games since trading Jimmy Butler to Philadelphia.
Both the Timberwolves and Bulls were playing the second game of a back-to-back and their third game in 4 nights.
“We want to make the right plays, play to each other’s strengths, cover up each other’s weaknesses and play tough,” Minnesota coach Tom Thibodeau said.
“On the nights in which you don’t shoot well, hopefully your rebounding and your defense can carry you through.”
Zach LaVine scored 28 points and Jabari Parker had 27 as the Bulls lost for the sixth time in 7 contests. Both players have reached 20 points in the past three games.
Justin Holiday had 14 points and 11 rebounds for the Bulls.
In Cleveland, rookie Collin Sexton scored a season-high 29 points and the Cleveland Cavaliers overcame 40 points by Houston’s James Harden to defeat the Rockets 117-108.
Cleveland Cavaliers def. Houston Rockets, 117-108
Minnesota Timberwolves def. Chicago Bulls, 111-96
Denver Nuggets def. Oklahoma City Thunder, 105-98
Washington Wizards def. New Orleans Pelicans, 124-114
Dallas Mavericks def. Boston Celtics, 113-104
Golden State Warriors def. Sacramento Kings, 117-116
Milwaukee Bucks def. San Antonio Spurs, 135-129
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