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NEW YORK, NEW YORK – NOVEMBER 16: Blake Griffin #2 of the Brooklyn Nets loses the ball as Stephen Curry #30 of the Golden State Warriors looks on during the second half at Barclays Center on November 16, 2021 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. The Warriors won 117-99. (Photo : Sarah Stier/Getty Images)
The Golden State Warriors stamped their class over the Brooklyn Nets in their much-anticipated showdown on Tuesday night, recording a 117-99 victory in front of a packed crowd at Barclays Center. Steph Curry stole the show for the Warriors, who improved their NBA-best record to 12-2.
Curry wins scoring duel against Durant
All eyes were on Curry and Kevin Durant as the league’s top two scorers squared off for the first time this season. Curry easily won their matchup, exploding for 37 points on 12 of 19 shooting from the field, including 9 of 14 from beyond the arc. Durant struggled with his shot, finishing with just 19 points, the first time he did not score 20 points in a game this season.
The Western Conference Player of the Week was at it again 🔥
— NBA (@NBA) November 17, 2021
Durant came out of the half-time break ice cold, going 0 for 8 from the field in the third quarter. The Warriors took full advantage of Durant’s shooting slump in that period, outscoring the Nets, 35-18. They turned a 63-58 lead at the break into a commanding 98-76 advantage after three quarters. The Warriors shot 13 of 18 from the field in the third for a high 72 percent clip, while the Nets were just 5 of 22 from the floor.
The Nets threw the white flag at that point with head coach Steve Nash opting to bench superstars Durant and James Harden for the entire fourth quarter. Harden finished the night with 24 points on 6 of 13 shooting from the floor while Durant missed 13 of his 19 field goal attempts for his worst game of the season.
It was a disappointing loss for the Nets, who went 5-1 in their road trip before this nationally televised matchup. Brooklyn has struggled at home this season, with the Nets winning just four of their seven games at Barclays Center. The Warriors are proving to be road warriors, though, winning four of their five away games this campaign.
Curry almost grabbed the scoring lead from Durant following their contrasting performances on Tuesday. Durant’s scoring average dropped to 28.9 after his 19-point outing, just 0.2 points higher than Curry’s average of 28.7.
Warriors to get even stronger with Thompson nearing return
The Warriors provided even more good news to their fans with head coach Steve Kerr telling reporters that star shooting guard Klay Thompson is close to making his NBA return. He started playing 5-on-5 back in San Francisco on Monday and was expected to do the same drills on Wednesday.
The Warriors are 12-2 and Klay Thompson is joining soon. pic.twitter.com/7BlQEjS9yg
— Complex Sports (@ComplexSports) November 17, 2021
It has been a long time since Thompson last saw action in the NBA with the three-time NBA champion’s last game coming in the 2019 Finals against the Toronto Raptors. Thompson suffered an ACL injury in Game 6 of that series and also ruptured his Achilles tendon before the start of the 2020-21 season.
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