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Kevin Durant became the second-fastest player in NBA history to reach the 20,000-point plateau Wednesday night, but Lou Williams spoiled his historic outing and dropped a career-high 50 points to hand the Los Angeles Clippers a 125-106 win over the Golden State Warriors at Oracle Arena.
Williams was relatively quiet with 13 points in the first half, but he changed the complexion of the game in the third quarter when he erupted for 27 points to cap off the highest-scoring frame by any player this season, according to ESPN Stats & Info.
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5️⃣0️⃣ Lou Williams goes for a career-high 50 points, including 27 in the 3rd quarter, in the Clippers win over the Warriors https://t.co/NoCh28CGhj
Thanks to Williams’ voluminous efforts, the Clippers snapped a 12-game losing streak against their Pacific Division rivals and exorcised some Bay Area demons after they entered the evening having lost 21 of their last 23 games at Oracle Arena.
If there was a sliver of good news for the Warriors, it was that they got to witness Durant’s epic outing.
Durant, who finished with 40 points on 14-of-18 shooting (6-of-7 from three), joined LeBron James, Kobe Bryant, Michael Jordan and Wilt Chamberlain as the only players to drop 20,000 points before the age of 30.
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KD joins an exclusive club. https://t.co/r3N07nCEYE
James, at 28 years, 17 days old, owns the record for the fastest entry into that exclusive club.
“Man, that’s some great company, and there’s so many names I never thought I’d be in the same conversation with,” Durant told ESPN.com’s Chris Haynes prior to the contest. “But to know—to have it in numbers, in black and white—to know that you belong in that group is pretty special to me.”
Following an 11-point first quarter, Durant—in his first game back from a three-game absence because of a right calf strain—tallied 14 over the final 7:49 of the second quarter and crossed the 20K threshold with a smooth jumper from the left wing:
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His 25th point of the night gave him 20,000 points for his career. Congrats Kevin Durant! #NBAVote https://t.co/KOSIrL5jkQ
He continued to cook in the second half, and the Warriors needed every point he could offer since Klay Thompson received the night off to rest and Stephen Curry was ruled out after he sprained his right ankle at Wednesday’s shootaround.
The issue for the Warriors is that their other scorers didn’t show up.
Zaza Pachulia (12 points) finished in double figures for the first time since Dec. 30. But Draymond Green (seven points) shot 1-of-9 from the field, and Nick Young (seven points) was ice-cold from beyond the arc while starting in place of Thompson.
Compounding matters was the state of Golden State’s defense, which coughed up 21 fast-break points and allowed the Clippers to shoot 45.8 percent from three even though they were lacking firepower with Blake Griffin out because of a concussion.
“The Clippers came in probably insulted that we were resting Klay,” Warriors head coach Steve Kerr said, according to 95.7 The Game. “They came in and kicked our ass tonight. They deserved everything they got.”
Williams and Co. will return to the floor Thursday for the start of a home-and-home with the Sacramento Kings at Golden 1 Center.
The Warriors, however, will kick off a five-game road trip Friday against the Milwaukee Bucks at the BMO Harris Bradley Center. The defending champions won’t return home until Jan. 23.