KD Reaches Scoring Milestone
Dubs Downed in Epic Scoring Dual Between Durant and Clippers’ Lou Williams
A night of celebration suddenly turned sour in Wednesday’s 125-106 loss to the Clippers at Oracle Arena.
Kevin Durant capped an electric first half by reaching 20,000 career points, but the Dubs struggled after that and suffered their first regular season home loss to the Clippers in more than six years.
KD’S SCORING MILESTONE
With a pull-up jumper from the wing late in the second quarter, Kevin Durant scored his 20,000th career point, becoming the 44th player in NBA history to reach that milestone. The eighth active player to reach 20,000 points, he’s the second youngest player to reach the milestone at 29 years and 102 days, behind only LeBron James (28 years, 17days). A four-time scoring champion, Durant has averaged 27.1 points per game in his career, which is the fifth highest mark in league history.
“Thanks to the fans, I was honored and humbled to be recognized that way,” Durant said during the NBC Sports Bay Area halftime interview. “It was cool, but we got to finish the game.”
EPIC SCORING DUAL
Durant had the hot hand for the Dubs, but unfortunately for the Warriors, so did the Clippers’ Lou Williams. Williams had 27 of his 50 in the third quarter, single-handedly carrying the Clippers in a dominant second half performance. Durant tried to keep the Warriors in it, going 14-for-18 from the field for 40 points, matching his Warriors’ career-high. But it wasn’t enough on a night in which the Dubs were outscored 67-44 in the third and fourth quarters.
After missing the prior three games with a strained right calf, Durant returned to action and immediately made an impact. He knocked down three of his four shots in the first quarter for 11 points and then went 5-for-5 from the field in the second quarter, adding 14 more. In that period, the Dubs went ahead in the second quarter with a 10-0 run, with each point either scored or assisted by Durant.
NO SPLASH BROTHERS
The Warriors were down a pair of All-Stars on Wednesday night, as Stephen Curry missed the game with a sprained right ankle earlier in the day and Klay Thompson had a scheduled game off to rest. It was the first time Thompson missed a game this season, and as a result the Dubs had their 14th different starting lineup of the season, matching the total of lineups used during the 2016-17 regular season.
TAIL OF TWO HALVES
With Durant leading the charge, the Dubs were clicking offensively in the first half. They shot 55.8 percent from the field and went into halftime with a 62-58 advantage. But the second half was a different story, as the Dubs were just 14-for-37 (38 percent) over the final two quarters. The Clippers, meanwhile, scored on seemingly every possession in the second half and out-rebounded the Dubs by 13 (46-33) and beat the Warriors in fast brak scoring (20-14), points in the paint (60-32) and second chance points (14-4).
The loss ends the Dubs’ five-game winning streak, and it also marked the end of the Dubs’ longest winning streak against a single opponent. Heading into the game, the Dubs had won 12 straight against the Clippers, which was the fourth longest active streak in the NBA. Prior to Wednesday the Dubs’ last regular season loss to the Clippers was on Christmas Day in 2014, and their last home loss to the Clippers occurred on Christmas Day in 2011.
The Warriors have been an exceptional road team all season, and they have their work cut out for them if they want to live up to that expectation, as the Dubs open a five-game road trip on Friday in Milwaukee that continues in Toronto, Cleveland, Chicago and Houston. Three of the five opponents on the trip are in the top three in the conference and four of the five have home winning percentages of .667 or better.