Durant, Warriors spoil Kobe's jersey retirement night
ABS-CBN Sports on Dec 19, 2017 02:32 PM
Golden State Warriors forward Kevin Durant celebrates a basket against the Los Angeles Lakers during the first half of an NBA basketball game in Los Angeles, Monday, Dec. 18, 2017. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)
By Greg Beacham, Associated Press
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Kevin Durant scored 36 points and hit a tie-breaking 22-foot jumper with 7.3 seconds left in overtime, and the Golden State Warriors beat the Los Angeles Lakers 116-114 Monday night (Tuesday, PHL time) for their ninth consecutive victory.
Klay Thompson had 17 points and 10 rebounds as the defending NBA champions predictably dampened a celebratory night for the Lakers, who retired Kobe Bryant’s two jersey numbers during a halftime ceremony.
Perhaps in tribute to Bryant, Durant and Thompson never stopped shooting even when they weren’t making many. The duo combined to miss 31 of its first 40 shots, but Durant went 4-for-4 in overtime, capped by that pure go-ahead jumper in OT.
The Lakers had a chance at the end, but David West blocked Lonzo Ball’s shot and Brandon Ingram couldn’t beat the buzzer.
Kyle Kuzma scored 25 points in a reserve role and Ingram added 19 for the Lakers, who have lost three straight and eight of 10.
Ball had 16 points, six assists and six rebounds.
Stephen Curry missed his fifth straight game with a sprained ankle, and Draymond Green sat out for the fourth time in five games with right shoulder soreness. Durant and the Warriors still had enough to handle the Lakers, who missed several opportunities down the regulation stretch to seize control of the game.
The Lakers recovered from a five-point deficit in the final minute of the fourth quarter to force overtime, but Kentavious Caldwell-Pope missed a jumper at the buzzer that could have won it.
Durant then hit a three-pointer to open overtime, but Ball made a driving layup with 1:03 left to put the Lakers ahead 113-112.
Durant drew a foul and made two free throws, but Julius Randle hit one of two to tie it before Durant’s winner.
The Warriors nursed a narrow lead in the fourth period despite their two stars’ shooting struggles, but Ingram drove for the tying layup with 27 seconds left. After Durant missed, Caldwell-Pope drove downcourt with the crowd on its feet and a chance to emulate Kobe on a late game-winner — but Caldwell-Pope badly missed his long jumper at the buzzer.
Bryant didn’t stick around for overtime, leaving with his family.
The Lakers honored Bryant by hanging his No. 8 and No. 24 jerseys high above the Staples Center court during a ceremony attended by dozens of his former teammates and competitors, from Shaquille O’Neal to Allen Iverson. Bryant is the leading scorer in franchise history, and Magic Johnson declared him “the greatest who ever wore the purple and gold.” Bryant spent his brief remarks thanking his friends and the Lakers before addressing his three daughters at courtside: “If you do the work, work hard enough, then dreams come true.”
Warriors: Golden State played its final road game of 2017. ... The Warriors will host the Lakers in Oakland on Friday night (Saturday, PHL time).
Lakers: Ingram left briefly in the third quarter after taking a hard fall underneath the basket. He had a bruise on his right cheek, but felt good enough to continue. ... Larry Nance Jr. threw down a superb dunk on Durant in the first half, bringing the crowd to its feet.
Warriors: Host the Memphis Grizzlies on Wednesday (Thursday, PHL time).
Lakers: At the Houston Rockets on Wednesday (Thursday, PHL time).