Photo: Carlos Avila Gonzalez, The Chronicle
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The Warriors boast the ultimate luxury: In Stephen Curry and Kevin Durant, they have two transcendent talents who revel in each other’s successes.
Golden State can labor in numerous aspects of a game, but still win if Curry and Durant are feeding off one another’s strengths to form the most daunting 1-2 punch in the NBA. That much was evident in Sunday evening’s 129-127 victory over the Clippers at Oracle Arena. Thanks to a steady flow of dazzling sequences from Curry and Durant, the Warriors wiped away warts.
Curry oscillated between dizzying dribbling displays, deep three-pointers and scoop shots as he scored 42 points. With repeated forays to the rim, Durant (35 points, 12 rebounds) softened up LA’s interior for his teammates.
It was a workhorse effort from the two former MVPs, whose aggressiveness helped lift Golden State out of stagnant stretches. Curry and Durant shot a combined 24-for-28 from the foul line.
After Clippers forward Montrezl Harrell hit a 12-foot jumper to give LA a 117-116 lead with little more than four minutes left, Durant responded with a 19-foot pullup jumper. Moments later, after Durant found him along the wing, Curry drilled a three-pointer while drawing contact, fell to the floor and jumped back up to hit the ensuing free throw.
It was 34 seconds later that Durant made a three-pointer to push the Warriors’ lead to 125-117. After the Clippers knotted the game on Avery Bradley’s put-back dunk with 19.6 seconds left, Curry knifed past Harrell, switched the ball to his right hand and lofted in a layup off the glass with 0.5 of a second remaining.
For the Warriors to escape with their eighth win in 10 games, they needed Curry and Durant to score their final 13 points. It was yet another reminder that those two provid Golden State with a supreme bail-out option. When little is going right, the Warriors can often pull out a win by simply feeding Curry and Durant.
Golden State got away from its pass-happy ways, dishing out only 22 assists — seven shy of its season average. Klay Thompson’s shooting woes continued on a night he finished 4-for-15 from the field (2-for-6 from three-point range.
It also hardly helped that the Warriors were lackluster, at best, on defense as the Clippers shot 53.8 percent from the field (18-for-23 from three-point range). LA’s 13-for-16 showing from beyond the arc in the first half set an NBA record for three-point clip in a half. It wasn’t until midway through the third quarter, after six straight makes, that Clippers forward Tobias Harris finally missed his first three-pointer.
The good news for Golden State: It has Curry and Durant, who are capable of almost single handedly overcoming even the ugliest of team performances.
This post was originally posted at https://www.sfgate.com/warriors/article/Stephen-Curry-Kevin-Durant-lead-Warriors-to-win-13488092.php.