Kevin Durant gets first triple-double with Warriors in win over Mavericks (VIDEO)

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OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) The way Kevin Durant does it all on both ends for Golden State, triple-doubles will certainly come. They may not be flashy, and coach Steve Kerr might not even notice as the numbers accumulate.

Durant either.

He notched his first one since joining the Warriors with 19 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists and first in more than a year, leading a 108-99 victory over the Dallas Mavericks on Friday night.

“I thought he already had one,” teammate Draymond Green said.

KD’s eighth career triple-double was his first since Dec. 10, 2015, against Atlanta. Klay Thompson scored 17 of his 29 points in the third quarter and finished with five 3-pointers and Stephen Curry added 14 points for the Warriors.

“He’s so effortless,” Thompson said. “He does everything great. He’s going to be huge for us. We expect him to play at that level the whole year. He’s been tremendous.”

Harrison Barnes, who spent the past four seasons in a key role with Golden State, scored 25 points for Dallas against his old team.

In the first quarter, Curry (11,903) passed Purvis Short (11,894) for seventh place on the Warriors’ all-time scoring list.

Green had 13 points, eight rebounds and seven assists in Golden State’s ninth straight home win against the Mavericks, the Warriors’ longest streak ever.

There was some Curry vs. Curry in this one, with Stephen guarding brother Seth and vice versa for short stints.

Thompson has 78 3-pointers against the Mavs, his most against any opponent. The Warriors began 3 for 10 from long range but wound up 11 for 33. Durant didn’t even have his most efficient shooting night – 7 for 14 while missing 5 of 7 3s.

His stats sneaked up on Kerr.

“It’s just who he is. It’s just how he plays. He’s a great passer. Obviously he can score any time,” Kerr said. “He’s one of our best rebounders. A triple-double is just a byproduct of who he is.”

Durant didn’t realize it either until he took a glance up as he exited the court for good.

“It really means nothing to be honest,” Durant said. “Stats don’t really man anything. At the end of the game you want to play a great basketball game. … I felt like I didn’t force it. I wasn’t looking for it.”

Dirk Nowitzki, who had been questionable coming in with an illness, scored 11 points on 3-for-12 shooting in 23-plus minutes for Dallas.

“Once we started kind of getting out and running, it’s hard to outscore them,” Barnes said.

Reigning NBA Coach of the Year Kerr, for one, is ready for 2017 given his health issues following complications from two back surgeries last year that still affect him.

But he doesn’t need to change his routine. Nor his star-studded roster.

“I’m not a resolution guy,” he said. “I go to the gym every day, I don’t just go to the gym the first 10 days of January.”

TIP-INS

Mavericks: Ex-Warriors C Andrew Bogut was out for a rest day, not playing in back-to-backs right now. … Dallas is 4-9 on the road vs. the Western Conference.

Warriors: Golden State finished the calendar year 72-12 for the second straight time – the best two-year mark (144-24) in NBA history ahead of the 1996-97 Bulls at 136-30. … The Warriors had 13 turnovers after averaging 20.3 over their previous three games – and Kerr focused on it in recent days. … Rookie Patrick McCaw, brought back up after a day with the D-Leauge Santa Cruz Warriors, was home with the flu.

CURRY’S SNEAKER CAUSE

Two pairs of Stephen Curry’s special shoes were auctioned off to raise $45,201 to aid the Oakland Fire Relief fund following the deadly Dec. 2 Ghost Ship warehouse fire in nearby Oakland. The “Oakland Strong” shoes worn in a game by the MVP were taken for $30,101 by an anonymous bidder, while his pregame “Ghost Ship” graffiti-style pair went for $15,100 also to an anonymous bidder.

“I’m always very proud of Steph and all of our guys. They put some money together as a group, the team did, to donate to the fund,” Kerr said.

UP NEXT

Mavericks: Host Washington on Tuesday. The road team won both times during last season’s series.

Warriors: Host Denver on Monday, having won four straight at home against the Nuggets.

Report: Mikhail Prokhorov ‘warmed’ to selling controlling stake of Nets

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Mikhail Prokhorov bought 80% of the Nets in 2010. A couple years ago, he tried to sell his stake, but decided to keep it. Then, he bought 100% of the franchise and its arena. After last season, he said he was selling 49% of the team.

Now?

Josh Kosman and Brian Lewis of the New York Post:

Brooklyn Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov, while focused on selling a minority stake in the franchise, has warmed recently to the possibility of offering a controlling slice of the team, sources close to the situation said.

The change of heart comes after the initial reaction to the minority stake sale was weak — and with interest in the Houston Rockets sale heating up, one source said.

The Rockets’ sale could shake out potential Nets buyers, and Prokhorov selling a controlling stake could also help. It’d cost more money than the 49% he’s offering now, but people with the money to buy an NBA team tend to value control.

This might be a good time to sell for Prokhorov, who lost a ton of money as the team paid major luxury tax for an all-in championship pursuit that flopped spectacularly. The NBA’s popularity is rising, and the league is reaping huge revenue from its national-TV contracts.

However, he shouldn’t assume the Rockets’ sale price will predict the Nets’. Buyers might prefer a good team with James Harden and Chris Paul to a bad one short on young talent after years of mismanagement. At least Brooklyn’s payroll is now tolerably low.

The big loser here: Leslie Alexander, who’s trying to sell the Rockets. The supply of NBA teams now available might have just doubled, and unless there’s no overlap in demand for those franchises, that can only drive down Alexander’s eventual sale price.

Report: Clippers paid $3.2 million – second-most ever – for draft pick (Jawun Evans)

AP Photo/Jae C. Hong
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The Warriors set a record by paying $3.5 million for a draft pick, buying the Bulls’ No. 38 pick and using it on Jordan Bell this year.

That eclipsed the $3 million spent by each the Thunder in 2010 (to the Hawks for the No. 31 pick, Tibor Pleiss) and Nets in 2016 (to move up 13 spots for Isaiah Whitehead).

So did the Clippers’ purchase of the No. 39 pick (Jawun Evans) from the 76ers this year.

Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders:

The Clippers also paid the Bucks $2 million for the No. 48 pick (Sindarius Thornwell).

I rated Evans a low first-rounder due to his speed and drive-and-kick game, so getting him in the second round is good value. I’m not as keen on Thornwell, who’s already 22 and built so much of his success at South Carolina on being more physical than younger opponents.

But the more swings the Clippers take on young players, the more likely they are to find long-term contributors. More power to owner Steve Ballmer for greenlighting this expenditure.

Importantly, as players acquired through the draft, Evans and Thornwell will count for the luxury tax at their actual salaries. Players signed otherwise, even if their actual salaries are lower, count at at least the two-years-experience minimum.

Under the new Collective Bargaining Agreement, teams can spend $5.1 million in cash this season. That amount will increase (or decrease) in proportion with the salary cap in coming years. So, expect the previous record for draft-pick purchase price – $3 million – to fall again and again.

There’s just more leeway now for the NBA’s haves to separate themselves from the have-nots.

Jeannie Buss says she didn’t understand why Lakers signed Luol Deng and Timofey Mozgov

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Last summer, the Lakers signed Luol Deng (four years, $72 million) and Timofey Mozgov (four years, $64 million) to contracts that immediately looked like liabilities.

At worst, Deng and Mozgov would help the Lakers win just enough to lose their top-three protected 2017 first-round pick – which would have triggered also sending out an unprotected 2019 first-rounder – then settle in as huge overpays. At best, Deng and Mozgov would provide a little veteran leadership while the team still loses enough to keep its pick… then settle in as huge overpays.

The Lakers got the best-case scenario, which was still pretty awful.

They had to attach D'Angelo Russell just to dump Mozgov’s deal on the Nets. Even if he no longer fit long-term with Lonzo Ball, Russell could’ve fit another asset if he weren’t necessary as a sweetener in a Mozgov trade. Deng remains on the books as impediment to adding free agents (like Paul George and LeBron James) next summer.

Who’s to blame?

Jeanie Buss was the Lakers’ president and owner. Jim Buss, another owner, ran the front office with Mitch Kupchak.

Bill Oram of The Orange County Register:

Within the walls of the Lakers headquarters, Jeanie’s grand corner office had begun to feel like a cell. She could not make sense of the strategy employed by her brother and Kupchak. They had cycled through four coaches in five seasons and under their watch the Lakers won a combined 63 games in three full seasons. Last summer, they spent $136 million of precious cap space on veterans Luol Deng and Timofey Mozgov, who made little sense for the direction of the team.

“I just didn’t understand what the thought process was,” she said, “whether our philosophies were so far apart that I couldn’t recognize what they were doing, or they couldn’t explain it well.”

No. Nope, nope, nope. I don’t want to hear it.

Jeanie empowered Jim and his silly timeline, which made it inevitable he place self-preservation over the Lakers’ best long-term interests. That’s why he looked for a quick fix with Mozgov and Deng, who’s still hanging over the Lakers’ plans.

She deserves scrutiny for allowing such a toxic environment that yielded predictably bad results (even if family ties clouded her judgment).

That said, she also deserves credit for learning from her mistake. She fired Jim and Kupchak – admittedly too late, but she still did it – and hired Magic Johnson. There’s no guarantee Johnson will direct the Lakers back to prominence, but he clearly has a better working relationship with Jeanie than Jim did and, so far (in a small sample), looks more competent in the job.

Reports: Heat pessimistic about/uninterested in trading for Kyrie Irving

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Kyrie Irving, in requesting a trade from the Cavaliers, reportedly listed the Heat among his preferred destinations. Though Irving – without a no-trade clause and locked up for two more years – holds only minimal sway, teams would logically offer more for him if they believe he’d re-sign.

Will Miami trade for Irving?

Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald:

And while the possibility certainly cannot be ruled out, the Heat does not have considerable optimism about being able to strike a deal, multiple league sources said.

One Eastern Conference official who spoke to the Heat said Miami considers itself something of a long shot.

Tim Reynolds, the reputable Associated Press Heat and NBA writer, said on Steve Shapiro’s Sports Xtra on WSVN-7 that he does not believe Miami is interested in acquiring Irving.

Like the Kings, though to a far lesser extent, the Heat might not be interested because they know they stand no little of landing Irving.

Goran Dragic would almost certainly have to go to Cleveland in a deal, supplanted by Irving in Miami. Dragic would upgrade the Cavs at point guard over Derrick Rose and Jose Calderon, but at 31, Dragic would also significantly shorten Cleveland’s window.

The Heat would have to send much more. It’s just not clear what.

The Cavaliers, with Tristan Thompson, might not have much interest in centers Hassan Whiteside and Bam Adebayo. Justise Winslow‘s weak 3-point shooting makes him a tough fit with LeBron James, and Winslow’s shoulder injury last season damages his stock anywhere. Tyler Johnson and Josh Richardson are helpful contributors, but Johnson’s salary skyrockets north of $19 million each of the following two seasons, and Richardson will hit free agency (and get a raise) after this season. James Johnson, Dion Waiters and Kelly Olynyk – who all signed this summer – can’t be traded until Dec. 15. (I’m not sure which prospect is funnier, Waiters returning to Cleveland or playing with Irving in Miami.) The Heat also owe the Suns two future first-round picks – one top-seven protected in 2018 and unprotected in 2019, the other unprotected in 2021.

It’s difficult, maybe impossible, for Miami to assemble a suitable trade package given those constraints.

At least the Heat would keep open the possibility of LeBron returning if they don’t trade for Irving.