The Associated PressOAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — Lou Williams sent the same roaring, adoring crowd that cheered Kevin Durant’s milestone to the exits several minutes before the final buzzer.
Durant was brilliant, and Williams even better.
Williams scored 27 of his career-high 50 points in the third quarter and the undermanned Los Angeles Clippers beat the Golden State Warriors for the first time in more than three years with a 125-106 win Wednesday that spoiled a milestone night for Durant.
Williams shot 16-for-27 with a career-best eight 3-pointers and made all 10 of his free throws.
“He ordered 50-piece nuggets on us tonight,” Durant quipped. “Lou got it going.”
Durant became the 44th player in NBA history to score 20,000 career points, finishing with 40 as the Warriors had their five-game winning streak snapped along with a 12-game unbeaten stretch in the Clippers rivalry.
Durant reached the milestone on a pull-up jumper from the left wing at the 1:41 mark of the second quarter. The Warriors announced his accomplishment on the main scoreboard and Durant received a standing ovation, shaking his head in acknowledgment while still in game mode.
By late in the fourth quarter, that crowd was making its way for the exits with the game out of reach.
The NBA Finals MVP returned from a three-game absence due to a strained right calf and scored 25 points in the first half against the Clippers — KD’s biggest half of the season and the exact number he needed for 20,000.
Durant, who had a four-point play during the second quarter on the way to 14 points in the period, is at 29 the second-youngest player behind LeBron James and the first to reach the 20,000 mark as a member of the Warriors.
He shot 14-for-18, including 6 of 7 from deep, and Zaza Pachulia added 12 points on a night when the Warriors were without their starting backcourt. Stephen Curry sprained his right ankle again at the morning shootaround, and Klay Thompson also was out for a previously scheduled rest.
“Our spirit wasn’t right, our energy wasn’t right. We weren’t connected and they were,” Golden State coach Steve Kerr said. “The Clippers came in here probably insulted we were resting Klay, and obviously Steph goes down and so the game changes.”
Williams had seven assists and rookie Tyrone Wallace added a season-best 22 points off the bench for the Clippers while returning to the Bay Area, where he starred in college at California.
“Obviously 50 is a huge number. It’s a great accomplishment,” Williams said. “For me, it was more important to get a win, try to close that gap to get back to .500, especially with the injuries, with guys in and out of the lineup, for us to still have that opportunity, to be in the playoff fold.”Speech