NBA — Kevin Durant shows way as short-handed Golden State Warriors cruise

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CHARLOTTE, N.C. — The Golden State Warriors are without MVP Stephen Curry due to a right ankle sprain, but fortunately for them, they still have a healthy MVP on the roster.

In a point forward role, Kevin Durant took control of the offense in every facet, securing his first triple-double of the season by way of 35 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists to lead his team to a 101-87 victory over the Charlotte Hornets on Wednesday night at Spectrum Center.

The 6-foot-11 forward also chipped in with two blocks. He is the 15th player in Warriors history to record multiple triple-doubles with the franchise. Golden State (20-6) is 2-1 on the season without Curry and one win away from sweeping a six-game road trip.

Kevin Durant scored 20 first-half points en route to a triple-double (35 points, 11 rebounds, 10 assists) Wednesday at Charlotte. Kent Smith/NBAE via Getty Images

Draymond Green (shoulder soreness) and Patrick McCaw (concussion protocol) had the evening off. Quinn Cook and Jordan Bell started at point guard and power forward. Cook drained two 3s and scored eight points, and Bell grabbed five rebounds and swatted a game-high three blocks.

The Hornets never led in the game and were down by as many as 26. They cut the margin to seven at the halfway point of the fourth quarter but couldn’t gain any more ground. The home team was held to 35 percent shooting.

The Warriors have defeated the Hornets seven consecutive times, with the past four contests won by double-digits. The Warriors accumulated 26 assists on the night, snapping their seven-game streak of dishing 30 or more assists.

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Kevin Durant tosses an alley-oop pass to JaVale McGee, who finishes with a monster one-handed dunk.

Zaza Pachulia left the game four minutes in with left shoulder soreness. He did not return. David West started the second half.

Kemba Walker had a team-high 24 points for Charlotte (9-14). Cody Zeller suffered a left knee strain in the third quarter and did not return.

The Detroit Pistons are the defending champs’ next opponent on Friday.



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