NEW YORK (AP) Kevin Durant had 26 points, nine rebounds and seven assists, and the Golden State Warriors turned an ugly start into an easy finish in a 117-101 victory over the Brooklyn Nets on Thursday night.
Klay Thompson added 23 points for the Warriors, who opened a three-game road trip that leads into their NBA Finals rematch in Cleveland on Christmas. They didn’t look ready while falling behind by 16 at halftime, but were back to their sometimes unstoppable selves while outscoring the Nets by 32 points over the final 24 minutes.
Stephen Curry and Zaza Pachulia each finished with 15 points for the Warriors, who played without Draymond Green, who returned to the Bay Area early Thursday after the birth of his son, Draymond Jamal Green Jr.
Brook Lopez scored 28 points for Brooklyn, but just five in the second half as the Nets dropped their fourth straight. They complete a back-to-back against the last two NBA champions when they visit Cleveland on Friday.
Golden State earned its sixth consecutive win and improved the NBA’s best record to 26-4.
The Warriors had won their last two games by a combined 75 points but didn’t play much defense in the first quarter of this one, allowing 34 points, and then couldn’t find their offense in the second, managing just 16 while the Nets dominated behind Lopez. Brooklyn led 65-49 at the break.
Golden State returned with 12 straight to cut it to 65-61 on Curry’s jumper, outscored the Nets 39-19 and took an 88-84 edge to the fourth. It was soon 103-91 after consecutive baskets by Shaun Livingston, and the Warriors kept pouring it on until they got their starters to the bench for good with a few minutes left.
Warriors: Golden State improved to 8-0 against the Eastern Conference. … Coach Steve Kerr said the Warriors don’t know if Green will return on the road trip, but thought the Michigan State product might want to be back for Friday’s game at Detroit.
Nets: Jeremy Lin finished with 10 points, 11 assists and eight rebounds. It was just his 10th game all season because of injuries and his first at home since Nov. 2, when he originally strained his left hamstring. … The Nets played without rookie PG Isaiah Whitehead, who often started for Lin, because of a sore left foot.
Warriors: Visit Detroit on Friday. Golden State was routed 113-95 there last Jan. 16.
Nets: Visit Cleveland on Friday. Brooklyn has lost its last six there.