Warriors find their way past Pistons
AUBURN HILLS, Mich. -- Kevin Durant fired in 32 points and the Golden State Warriors overcame a season-high 23 turnovers to down the Detroit Pistons 119-113 on Friday night at The Palace.
Stephen Curry had 23 points and eight assists for the Warriors (27-4), who won their seventh straight heading into their Christmas Day showdown with Eastern Conference leader Cleveland. Klay Thompson added 17 points and JaVale McGee chipped in 15.
Warriors forward Draymond Green, who flew back to the Bay Area on Thursday for the birth of his son, returned to action after a one-game absence. Green contributed five points, 10 rebounds and 12 assists.
Pistons coach Stan Van Gundy made a lineup change, inserting Joe Leuer at power forward in place of Tobias Harris. That wound up benefiting Harris, who had 26 points and seven rebounds.
Kentavious Caldwel-Pope contributed 25 points and Reggie Jackson added 17 points and six asssists for Detroit (14-18), which lost its fifth straight.
McGee and Durant scored nine points apiece in the third quarter as the Warriors led by as many eight points. Harris kept the Pistons close with 10 points in the quarter but Golden State carried an 88-84 advantage into the fourth.
It didn't last, as the Pistons opened the quarter with an 11-2 run. Harris' fast-break dunk after a Stanley Johnson steal capped it off.
Golden State soon regained the lead and two Ian Clark layups made it 102-99. Detroit scored the next five points but Curry answered with five of his own.
The game remained tight but Green's first basket of the night, a dunk off a Thompson feed, put the Warriors on top 112-110 with 1:31 left. Thompson and Caldwell-Pope traded baskets before Thompson hit a clinching 3-pointer with 22.1 seconds left.
Turnovers caused the Warriors to trail 59-57 at the half. They committed 12 -- six in each of the first two quarters -- leading to 17 Pistons points. The 12 giveaways tied their season high for any half.
Durant was the most reliable source of offense for Golden State with 16 points, and Caldwell-Pope led Detroit with 13 points.
NOTES: Pistons coach Stan Van Gundy isn't sure how long he'll go with the lineup change of PF Jon Leuer starting in place of Tobias Harris. "I don't know if this is going to be a long-term thing," he said. "We're just trying to find a lineup and a rotation that works." ... Golden State coach Steve Kerr wasn't surprised that PF Draymond Green missed just one game after flying home for the birth of his son. "Even if (it) hadn't been Detroit (Green's hometown team), he would have wanted to get back," Kerr said. "He hates missing games." ... Golden State won its last 13 regular-season road games against Eastern Conference teams after its loss to Detroit in January. ... Entering the game, the Pistons were shooting 40.3 percent on 3-point attempts in victories, compared to 28.6 percent in losses. ... The Warriors host the Pistons on Jan. 12.