Kevin Durant Goes for Triple-Double in Warriors Win over Hornets

Alec Nathan@@AlecBNathanFeatured ColumnistDecember 6, 2017

CHARLOTTE, NC - DECEMBER 06:  Kevin Durant #35 of the Golden State Warriors reacts after a play against the Charlotte Hornets during their game at Spectrum Center on December 6, 2017 in Charlotte, North Carolina.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

The Golden State Warriors (20-6) didn't have Stephen Curry at their disposal on Wednesday night because of an ankle injury. They were also without Draymond Green because of right shoulder soreness.

It didn't matter.

Despite being down two All-Stars, the Warriors topped the Charlotte Hornets 101-87 on the road at Spectrum Center for their fifth straight win behind Kevin Durant's first triple-double of the season and the ninth of his career.

All told, Durant finished with a season-high 35 points (13-of-28 shooting), 11 rebounds and 10 assists.

The reigning NBA Finals MVP had free reign to fire away all night long, and he wasted no time getting shots up with Curry watching from afar.

That much was clear in the first quarter, when Durant dropped 16 points—two shy of the Hornets' total as a team in the frame—and cooked Charlotte's defense with spot-up efforts from distance that complemented decisive dribble-drives.

According to the NBA's official Twitter account, the 16 points Durant poured in over the first 12 minutes represented his most in a quarter so far this season.

Durant kept at it in the second half and found innovative ways to slice past Charlotte's renowned wing defenders with some nifty footwork, as NBC Sports Bay Area documented on Twitter:

And while the Hornets trimmed the deficit to as few as seven midway through the fourth quarter, the combined efforts of Durant, Klay Thompson (22 points), Nick Young (10 points) and Andre Iguodala (eight points, eight rebounds, three steals) stymied Charlotte's late run.

The Mercury News' Mark Medina noted Iguodala, often the unsung hero, was particularly clutch down the stretch:

Speaking of defense, the Warriors' front line did a commendable job without Green and Zaza Pachulia, who left the game after five minutes because of a shoulder injury.

As a team, Golden State collected 12 blocks—including a monster swat from Jordan Bell that sparked a fast-break dunk in the third quarter:

Matched up against a Warriors defense that limited them to 35.1 percent shooting from the field, the Hornets understandably didn't have much working in the scoring column.

The only bright spots in that regard were Kemba Walker and Nicolas Batum, who dropped 24 and 15 points, respectively.

Having lost five of their last six, the Hornets will be in a strong spot to bounce back Friday when they host the Chicago Bulls.

The Warriors, meanwhile, will try to stretch their winning streak to six games against the Detroit Pistons on Friday evening.