Durant pours in 39 as Warriors rout his former team
OAKLAND, Calif. -- Kevin Durant overwhelmed his former mates with a long-range shooting exhibition Thursday night, leading the Golden State Warriors to a 122-96 victory over the Oklahoma City Thunder in a rematch of last year's thrilling Western Conference finals.
Durant connected on seven of 11 3-point attempts en route to a season-best 39 points, helping the Warriors outscore the Thunder 42-30 from beyond the arc en route to their fourth consecutive win after a season-opening loss to the San Antonio Spurs.
Russell Westbrook countered with 20 points, 10 assists and six rebounds for the Thunder, who took the court undefeated in four games but quickly fell victim to the wear and tear of a tough 85-83 road win over the Los Angeles Clippers on Wednesday.
While the Thunder were enduring their first back-to-back of the season, the Warriors were beginning their first. They travel to Los Angeles to take on the Lakers on Friday night.
Durant, who averaged 27.4 points over nine seasons to begin his NBA career with Oklahoma City before leaving as a free agent last summer, dominated the first meeting since the July move from the very first minute.
He bombed in a 3-pointer on Golden State's first offensive possession and had 13 points by first quarter's end, helping the Warriors hang within 32-31 after falling behind by as many as 10 early on.
Klay Thompson hit a 3-pointer and Stephen Curry, twice fouled on 3-point attempts, connected on five of six free throws as the Warriors used a 14-4 spurt to go up 52-38 just past the midpoint of the second quarter.
When Durant returned from a rest to bury three more 3-pointers and throw down a dunk, the margin exploded to 68-43 by halftime.
The only thing left to be decided were the final numbers, which remained decidedly in the Warriors' favor.
After beginning the night with just the 22nd-best 3-point success rate in the league (29.3 percent), the Warriors recorded season highs in both treys made (14) and percentage (46.7 percent), finally recapturing the hot hand that fueled last year's 73-win season without Durant.
Durant had missed 10 of his 13 3-point attempts in the first four games, Curry 21 of his 38 and Thompson a whopping 25 of his first 28.
They combined to go 13 of 25 against the Thunder.
Curry hit a pair of 3-pointers during his 21-point, seven-assist outing. Thompson shot 4-for-8 on threes to account for a majority of his 18 points.
The Warriors shot 51.1 percent overall.
Draymond Green and Zaza Pachulia contributed 10 rebounds apiece for Golden State, which also won the battle of the backboards, 47-41.
Victor Oladipo buried four of his six 3-point attempts and led the Thunder with 21 points. Rookie Domantas Sabonis added 13 and Steven Adams 11.
The Thunder was held to 40.2 percent shooting from the field. Westbrook finished 4 of 15.
NOTES: Asked before the game if Thunder PG Russell Westbrook's early numbers were sustainable, Warriors coach Steve Kerr retorted, "I guess Oscar Robertson did it, right?" Kerr went on to predict: "I would think at the end of the year, Russell will be awfully close to averaging a triple-double." ... Warriors PG Stephen Curry played his 500th game, becoming the 17th player in franchise history to reach the milestone. ... Thunder SG Andre Roberson was briefly a Warrior in 2013. He was acquired from Minnesota in a trade on draft night, only to be dealt again later in the evening for the Thunder's second-round pick. ... Among the celebrities in attendance: Andre Ward, the Oakland native who will fight Sergey Kovalev for the WBA/IBF/WBO light heavyweight title on Nov. 19 in Las Vegas.