WASHINGTON (AFP) – Kevin Durant put on a show in front of family and friends on Wednesday, scoring 32 points to lead the Golden State Warriors to a 109-101 NBA victory over the Washington Wizards.
It was a homecoming for Durant, who hails from nearby Maryland, and he didn’t disappoint, connecting on 12 of 20 shots from the floor while handing out four assists with six rebounds.
His performance came almost a year after he suffered a sprained knee in the opening minutes of the Warriors’ game against the Wizards in Washington, an injury that would sideline him for five weeks.
This time around, all went smoothly.
“My teammates got me going early,” Durant said. “I was able to get some threes, get some transition points and that got my jump-shot going … my teammates did a great job of putting me in great positions.”
Stephen Curry added 25 points and the Warriors limited Washington guard Bradley Beal to eight as the reigning NBA champions notched their seventh win in eight games.
Their latest victory came a day after the Warriors spent their Tuesday off taking a group of students from Durant’s home town of Seat Pleasant, Maryland, to the National Museum of African American History and Culture.
PELICANS 121, SPURS 116
In San Antonio, Anthony Davis had 26 points and 15 rebounds, and New Orleans rallied in the final two minutes to beat San Antonio, adding to the Spurs’ misery after losing LaMarcus Aldridge to an injury in the first half.
New Orleans won its seventh straight after trailing by as many as 15 points.
San Antonio, which has been without superstar forward Kawhi Leonard for all but nine games this season, lost Aldridge to a sprained right ankle late in the first half. Aldridge landed awkwardly while defending a driving hook shot by Davis with three minutes left in the second quarter.
The injury would prove critical down the stretch for the Spurs, who’ve lost five of their past six. The team did not immediately disclose how long Aldridge will be out.
CELTICS 134, HORNETS 106
In Boston, Kyrie Irving scored 34 points in the first three quarters, and then sat out the fourth with the rest of Boston’s starters as the Celtics routed Charlotte.
Aron Baynes had 12 points and 10 rebounds and Jaylen Brown scored 15, including nine in the third quarter as the Celtics shot 60 percent and turned the game into a blowout. Terry Rozier and Greg Monroe scored 14 points apiece for the Celtics, who won their fourth straight and ended Charlotte’s five-game winning streak.
Kemba Walker made his first eight shots and led Charlotte with 23 points. Dwight Howard had 21 points for the Hornets, who were coming off a victory over Chicago on Tuesday night and couldn’t keep up with the Celtics after halftime.