OAKLAND (AP) — Kevin Durant had 29 points, eight rebounds and five assists in his final playoff tuneup, and the Golden State Warriors beat the Los Angeles Lakers 109-94 in both teams’ final regular-season game Wednesday night.
Stephen Curry added 20 points, eight assists and five rebounds for the playoff-bound, top-seeded Warriors (67-15), ready for what they’re counting on being another deep postseason run.
Klay Thompson scored 12 points as coach Steve Kerr rested Andre Iguodala and Draymond Green.
Jordan Clarkson led all five Lakers starters in double figures with 17 points.
A day after a fierce and fun 3-point shootout following practice, Durant said before the game he hoped to have found his shooting touch after recently missing 19 games with a left knee injury. KD shot 11 for 16 and made 5 of 7 3s, while Curry also hit five from deep.
After the game, as streamers fell, Curry took the microphone and thanked the sellout crowd for “all your support” and asked the fans to continue to bring that energy for the postseason.
Golden State was short-handed with 11 available bodies with mostly big men, prompting coach Steve Kerr to say ahead of time “It will be a weird night for sure.”
Patrick McCaw added 13 points and JaVale McGee 11 off the bench for the Warriors, who wrapped up the league’s best record and the No. 1 seed in the West with a win last week at Phoenix. The Warriors are the first franchise in NBA history to win at least 67 games in three straight seasons.
Two-time reigning MVP Curry finished the season with 324 3-pointers, the NBA’s second-most ever in a single season behind his record 402 last season.
Kerr had a reason for resting Green aside from fatigue.
“What I’ve found with Draymond, if the game is meaningless, then so is Draymond,” Kerr chuckled. “I’m kidding, I’m kidding. Draymond needs some stakes, he needs the competition, he needs the game to be meaningful.”
The Lakers had their five-game winning streak snapped — the team’s longest unbeaten stretch in four years — while the Warriors saw their 14-game winning streak end against the Jazz at home Monday night.
Los Angeles shot just 4 for 17 from 3-point range while playing a back-to-back after beating the Pelicans at home Tuesday.
Golden State got rolling with a 27-8 run to build a 43-28 lead after the first.
WALTON’S FIRST YEAR
The Lakers finished 26-56 in coach Luke Walton’s first season.
Kerr praised former top assistant for how he handled all the challenges.
They still talk every few weeks and trade text messages regularly. They had lunch Wednesday.
Walton coached the Warriors’ initial 43 games including a record 24-0 start last season while Kerr was on a leave of absence because of complications from back surgery.
“He’s a natural. He showed that last year,” Kerr said. “He stepped into the role when I was out and crushed it.”
Lakers: G D’Angelo Russell missed his second straight game after returning home to Louisville following the Sunday death of his grandmother. ... The 37-year-old Metta World Peace came off the bench after making his 840th career start a night earlier in perhaps his final game at Staples Center. ... Assistant coach Theo Robertson was staying in the Bay Area as he transitions to his new job on the staff at California, where he played collegiately. ... The Lakers lost their ninth straight on the Warriors’ home floor. ... L.A. closed the season facing the Warriors for the first time since a 117-111 win on April 16, 2003, in Oakland.
Warriors: F Matt Barnes missed a second consecutive game with a sprained right foot and ankle and is doubtful for this weekend’s Game 1, Kerr said.
The Warriors will host Portland in the first round of the playoffs beginning with Game 1 on Sunday afternoon at Oracle Arena. Kerr planned for meetings only Thursday, no mandatory on-court work.
“They are my favorites to win,” Walton predicted.8