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Durant steers Warriors to big NBA win

AAP logoAAP 23/12/2016

Kevin Durant had 26 points, nine rebounds and seven assists as the Golden State Warriors turned an ugly start into an easy finish in a 117-101 NBA victory over the Brooklyn Nets on Thursday night (Friday AEDT).

Klay Thompson added 23 points for the Warriors, who opened a three-game road trip that leads into their NBA Finals rematch in Cleveland on Christmas Day.

They didn't look ready while falling behind by 16 at halftime, but were back to their sometimes unstoppable selves while outscoring the Nets by 32 points over the final 24 minutes.

Stephen Curry and Zaza Pachulia each finished with 15 points for the Warriors, who played without Draymond Green, who returned to the Bay Area early Thursday after the birth of his son, Draymond Jamal Green Jr.

In Los Angeles, Chris Paul scored 19 points before injuring his left hamstring to lead the Clippers to a 106-101 win over the San Antonio Spurs.

Paul added seven rebounds and six assists before leaving the game late in the third quarter. Los Angeles were already missing their other star Blake Griffin, who is out with a knee injury.

The Clippers used their bench in the fourth quarter to seal the victory, only the Spurs second on the road this season. Los Angeles' reserves outscored San Antonio's 58-33.

The Spurs had started the season 15-1 on the road. Kawhi Leonard led the Spurs with 27 points and nine rebounds, while Pau Gasol added 19 points and eight rebounds.

Patty Mills managed just three points for the Spurs, on one-from-five shooting.

Meanwhile, Isaiah Thomas had 28 points and nine assists to help the Boston Celtics beat the Indiana Pacers 109-102.

Avery Bradley and Jae Crowder each scored 15 points for the Celtics, who have won four in a row. Marcus Smart had 12 points, and Amir Johnson and Kelly Olnyk finished with 11 apiece.

Boston outscored Indiana 29-9 in the second quarter, turning a nine-point deficit into a 51-40 halftime lead. The Pacers pulled within four late in the game, but were unable to catch the Celtics down the stretch.

Jeff Teague led Indiana with 31 points and eight assists. Paul George and CJ Miles scored 19 points apiece, and Thaddeus Young had 15 points and 12 rebounds for his second straight double-double.

Miles made a three-pointer to trim Boston's lead to 87-83 with 5:26 left, but Al Horford responded with a reverse lay-up for Boston.

Thomas then made two foul shots and a layup to make it 93-83 with 4:10 to go.

In New York, Derrick Rose scored 19 points, Kyle O'Quinn had 14 points and a career-high 16 rebounds in the Knicks' 106-95 triumph over the Orlando Magic.

Carmelo Anthony and Willy Hernangomez each had 15 points for New York, who have won two in a row since a three-game losing streak. Kristaps Porzingis scored 12 points and reserve Brandon Jennings had 12 assists in 22 minutes.

Orlando led only once, 12-11 on DJ Augustin's short jumper with 6:13 left in the first quarter. The Knicks responded with a 16-5 run for a 27-17 lead.

Serge Ibaka led the Magic with 23 points and 10 rebounds. Evan Fournier scored 21 points.

In Miami, the Heat beat the Lakers 115-107, on the night Miami retired former player Shaquille O'Neal's No.32 jersey.

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