Durant, Warriors Triumphant in Return to Seattle
Golden State Defeats Sacramento for First Preseason Victory
Playing their first game at KeyArena in Seattle since December of 2007, the Warriors defeated the Sacramento Kings 122-94 on Friday night to earn their first victory of the preseason. Kevin Durant, who was named the NBA Rookie of the Year as a member of the Seattle SuperSonics at the conclusion of that 2007-08 season, put on a show at the site of his professional launching point, totaling 26 points, six rebounds and seven assists in 26 minutes. Klay Thompson had the hot hand in the early going, scoring 19 of his game-high 30 points in the first quarter to help build a double-digit advantage that Golden State would never relinquish.
Durant got the festivities off to a loud start, as he unveiled a Shawn Kemp Sonics jersey when announced in the starting lineup to a roar from the Seattle crowd. He then grabbed a microphone at midcourt and thanked the audience that cheered him on throughout his first season in the NBA.
Once the ball went up in the air, Thompson seized the energy in the arena and cranked it up a few more notches with a dazzling shooting display in the early going, over the course of which he knocked down five three-pointers within the first six minutes and seven seconds. Golden State raced out to a 10-0 lead at the start, and maintained a double-digit advantage for the rest of the contest following Thompson’s early onslaught.
The Dubs led 39-18 at the end of the first frame, and would further expand their lead over the next two quarters. Durant was often at the center of the activity, scoring 24 of his 26 points over the middle periods. He closed out the first half with a breakaway dunk, and his 26-foot stepback three-pointer with 4:24 remaining in the third quarter gave Golden State their largest lead of the night at 96-55.
Durant was subbed out shortly thereafter, and did not return with the game well in hand. Steve Kerr emptied the bench in the fourth quarter, allowing the reserves to finish off the eventual 122-94 victory.
With the win, Golden State evens their preseason record at 1-1. They’ll look to make it two victories in a row when they host the Phoenix Suns at Oracle Arena on Monday night.
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