DETROIT (AP) — It wasn’t a perfect road trip for Golden State — not with Stephen Curry going down with an ankle injury — but the Warriors made it through with an unblemished record.
Kevin Durant scored 13 of his 36 points in the third quarter, and the Warriors beat the Detroit Pistons 102-98 on Friday night to finish 6-0 on the trip. They’ve played the past two games without Curry, who is recovering from a sprained right ankle .
“Just a great finish to just an amazing trip,” coach Steve Kerr said. “The last two games without Steph, obviously, tonight against a team that’s given us some problems and beat us a few weeks ago — so thrilled with the effort and now we get to go home and we’re all very happy about that.”
Detroit had a chance to tie it in the final seconds, but Reggie Jackson’s wild drive to the basket did not lead to a good shot, and Klay Thompson made two free throws with 5.3 seconds left for the final margin.
“He drove the ball hard, and they had a lot of guys going to the ball,” Pistons coach Stan Van Gundy said. “We had a couple guys open outside, but it is easier to see that on tape than it does when you are out there in the paint.”
Golden State went 1 for 12 from 3-point range in the first half but took control by outscoring Detroit 31-17 in the third quarter. Thompson had 21 points.
Avery Bradley scored 25 points for the Pistons, who have lost five straight. Detroit led 50-46 at halftime.
Golden State led 77-67 after Quinn Cook made a 3-pointer at the buzzer at the end of the third quarter. After Detroit cut the deficit to two in the fourth, Durant missed badly on an open 3-pointer, then fell to the ground well after releasing the shot. A foul was called on Detroit’s Anthony Tolliver, and with the crowd booing, Durant made all three free throws for an 87-82 lead.
“I’m not looking to get fined, so I can’t comment on that,” Pistons center Andre Drummond said.
A 3-pointer by Thompson made it 94-85. The Pistons scored the next four points and had the ball when Durant blocked Tolliver’s perimeter shot and then dunked on a breakaway at the other end.
A 3-pointer by Bradley made it 100-98 with 22.7 seconds left, and Shaun Livingston missed two free throws for the Warriors, but Jackson wasn’t able to tie it.
No NBA team has had a perfect trip of more than six games. Golden State became the first to go 6-0 on a trip since the Lakers in 2009, according to information the Warriors provided from the Elias Sports Bureau.
“I think our focus level was the main thing throughout this whole trip, especially with so much that went on,” Durant said. “Just proud of the effort that we all gave, from the coaches all the way down to the players.”
DEFENDING THE RIM
The Warriors had 15 blocked shots, and Van Gundy said his team was at least partly responsible for that.
“You get five or six blocked, that’s just great defense,” he said. “You get 16 blocked against Milwaukee, 15 blocked tonight, that’s bad decision making. It’s not that anybody is trying to make bad decisions, but we’ve just got to make better decisions.”
Warriors: Golden State was also without C Zaza Pachulia (left shoulder soreness). ... Draymond Green returned after missing a game with right shoulder soreness. He had 13 assists and six blocks. ... The Warriors’ streak of 10 games making at least 10 3-pointers came to an end. They finished 7 of 26.
Pistons: Drummond had eight points and 17 rebounds.
Warriors: Host Portland on Monday night.
Pistons: Host Boston on Sunday.
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