Warriors Fly High Past Hornets, Hold on to Top Seed

OAKLAND – Maybe the Warriors’ anger in the wake of their bitter overtime loss two nights earlier in Minnesota spilled over into Sunday.

They came after Charlotte quickly and with destructive intentions, and cruised to a 137-90 triumph over the Hornets before a relaxed sellout crowd at Oracle Arena.

The win gave the Warriors (52-24) their fifth consecutive Pacific Division title and keeps them in a tie with Denver atop the Western Conference standings.

Here are three takeaways from a victory in which every available Warrior played:

Let it rain: When the Warriors are making 3-pointers at a high rate, the opponent, no matter how good, has almost no chance. They shot a franchise-best (for 30 or more attempts) 63.6 percent from deep, with Klay Thompson and Stephen Curry leading the way.

Thompson scored 24 points on 9-of-16 shooting, including 6-of-9 from deep. He moved past Rashard Lewis and into 16th place on the all-time list at 1,788 – 39 behind Kobe Bryant.

Curry scored a game-high 25 points on 8-of-14 shooting, including 5-of-8 from beyond the arc. This was his career-high eighth consecutive game with at least five triples.

Draymond Green was 2-of-4 from deep and is 11-of-24 (45.8 percent) from deep over his last nine games.

The Warriors over the last four games shot a preposterous 51.9 percent from deep – yet somehow lost at Minnesota on Thursday.

Point KD: Kevin Durant, one of the greatest scorers in NBA history, continues to flourish in the role of . . . point forward, finishing with a game-high-tying nine assists in 27 minutes.

Meanwhile, his scoring efficiency remains rather absurd. He scored 11 points on 5-of-5 shooting, including 1-of-1 from deep.

Durant routinely brings the ball up court, motioning teammates into position. It’s clear he is looking to set up others more than get his own shot, which he can do whenever he pleases.

But the most telling stat about the focus of the four-time scoring leader is that over the last four games Durant has more assists (32) than field goals (30).

Cook on fire: Quinn Cook’s shooting slump, which lasted for the better part of two months, definitely is a thing of the past.

The diminutive backup point guard scored 13 of his 21 points in the first half on 5-of-5 shooting, including 3-of-3 from beyond the arc. After going 10-of-45 from deep over the months of January and February, was 20-of-40 (adjust) in March – and 10-of-12 over his last four games.

Inasmuch as he is a liability on defense, the only way for Cook to get playing time is with effective scoring. He has found his rhythm and is rolling toward the end of the regular season.

This post was originally posted at http://www.nbcbayarea.com/news/local/Warriors-Fly-High-Past-Hornets-Hold-on-to-Top-Seed-507925161.html.

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