Draymond Green and Kevin Durant lead Warriors to 12th straight win
Green makes key blocks late and Durant has another double-double in 105-100 win
Runner-up for Defensive Player of the Year in two straight seasons, Draymond Green desperately wants to prove how good Golden State can be on that end of the floor.
Kevin Durant, Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson can have all the scoring glory. Green takes it personally when people question the Warriors’ D.
Green blocked two shots in the final 43.4 seconds, Durant had 25 points and 14 rebounds, and the Warriors held off the Atlanta Hawks and their strong bench 105-100 on Monday night for a 12th straight victory that tied the third-longest streak in franchise history.
“I wouldn’t necessarily say I have something to prove for that award, more so that people have kind of counted our defence out,” said Green, back from missing one game with an ankle injury.
Curry scored 25 points with four 3-pointers, and Thompson added 20 points as Golden State’s Big Three each reached 20 points for the second consecutive game.
The Warriors won their seventh straight home game and fifth in a row against Atlanta at Oracle Arena.
Durant knocked down a 3-pointer with 2:57 left in the third quarter that pulled Golden State to 76-73. Then, as the period wound down, he dribbled over midcourt and found Ian Clark for a long 3 to beat the buzzer and cut Atlanta’s advantage to 81-80.
Durant’s jumper to start the fourth put the Warriors ahead, and Andre Iguodala followed with back-to-back baskets. Iguodala finished with 12 points, five rebounds and five assists.
Dennis Schroder scored 24 points for the Hawks, and Tim Hardaway Jr. had 10 against his father’s former team. Dwight Howard added 14 points and 16 rebounds, while Paul Millsap had 14 points and 14 boards.
“We got to 100 and we haven’t seen that in a while,” Millsap said. “It’s a good start. We played a tough team, a good team, so we’ll build on the positives.”
Durant had a double-double in consecutive games for the second time this season and had his sixth performance with at least 20 points and 10 rebounds.
“Nobody can guard him, that’s pretty much it,” said Iguodala, who spent years trying to stop KD.
In the first half, the Warriors hardly looked like their usual efficient selves on either end and trailed at halftime for the fourth time and second at home. They committed 11 turnovers that led to 16 points for Atlanta, got burned on defence while giving up easy baskets and missed their own open looks in shooting just 45.2 per cent.
Green returned after missing Saturday’s hard-fought win against Minnesota because of a bruised left ankle sustained in a collision a night earlier at the Lakers that left Clark with a throat injury. Clark also sat out Saturday.
Green quickly made an impact in this one, forcing a turnover on Atlanta’s first possession and emphatically pointing to signal it was Golden State’s ball. He dished out seven assists and first made a big block against Schroder before stuffing Kent Bazemore to finish with four blocks.
The Warriors had double-digit blocks for an NBA-best fourth time this season.
“That was amazing. I don’t know if I’ve ever seen a sequence like that from one guy,” coach Steve Kerr said. “Draymond’s amazing. He literally can guard anybody in the league.”