Durant scores season-best 44 points, Warriors hold off Kings
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By JANIE McCAULEY
OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) Klay Thompson will be thrilled with the winning shot any way it comes.
Kevin Durant will gladly accept that a jump ball he tipped away against Willie Cauley-Stein in the waning moments meant nearly as much as all those jumpers and free throws he hit in a sensational scoring performance.
Thompson put back his own miss with 5 seconds left, Durant scored a season-high 44 points, and the Golden State Warriors barely held off the Sacramento Kings 117-116 on Saturday night in a wild finish between the Northern California neighbors.
"I don't know if I got fouled, but who cares I got the putback," Thompson said. "You'll take a game-winner any way you can get it I don't care how ugly it is."
Durant tipped a jump ball to the backcourt just before the buzzer sounded, but a replay review was held to determine whether the Kings had called timeout - which was granted with 0.3 seconds on the clock.
The Warriors subsequently called their own, and the Kings failed to get a shot.
"I just tried to tip it as far away from their basket as possible," Durant said.
Durant converted two free throws with 1:27 left and also had 13 rebounds and seven assists, while Thompson wound up with 31 points - the second straight night the two each scored 30 or more.
Buddy Hield had 28 points on 12-for-21 shooting and seven rebounds. Rookie Marvin Bagley III contributed 20 points and a season-best 17 rebounds off the bench, but missed the first of two free throws with 1:08 remaining.
"That was a very good basketball game to watch, to be a part of. I thought we competed our tails off," Kings coach Dave Joerger said.
Thompson shot 12 of 26 with five 3-pointers as Splash Brother Stephen Curry missed his ninth straight game because of a strained left groin . Fellow All-Star Draymond Green is still nursing a sprained right toe.
Durant's 3-pointer with 6:22 left got Golden State within 108-105, then he converted a tying three-point play the next time down before Quinn Cook's go-ahead 3 the following possession.
Durant had 16 in the second quarter, making all eight of his free throws. He finished with a season-high 16 free throws on 17 attempts. The two-time reigning NBA Finals MVP also committed seven of the Warriors' 14 turnovers.
Damian Jones added 13 points and six rebounds in a stronger effort from the center position in Golden State's fifth back-to-back, when the Warriors went just 10 of 34 from beyond the arc.
"He was a monster out there," Thompson said.
The Warriors snapped a four-game losing streak, their longest under Steve Kerr and worst since early 2013, a night earlier against Portland.
Kerr stuck with the same starting lineup from that 125-97 win but the Warriors trailed by 10 late in the second before closing the half on an 8-2 run to get within 64-60 at intermission.
The Kings had won their previous two matchups at Oracle Arena, last season becoming just the third team over the past five seasons to win twice on Golden State's home floor.
Curry, the two-time MVP, was re-examined Saturday and is expected to resume practicing next week with a strong chance he would return to game action during an upcoming five-game road trip.
He did some scrimmaging work at the practice facility, and Kerr said there were no lingering physical issues from a car accident Friday in which Curry was unharmed.
Kings: Bagley had his right thumb wrapped after the game but didn't think it was serious. ... Sacramento shot 21 for 29 on free throws. The Kings were outrebounded 42-34. ... Sacramento is 2-5 on the road against the Western Conference.
Warriors: Thompson moved into 21st place on the NBA's career 3-pointers list when he hit his 1,609th in the first quarter, moving past former Warriors star Jason Richardson. ... Durant had two of the Warriors' six blocks a night after they blocked a season-best 11 shots - their second straight game with 10 or more swats. ... The Warriors are 4-1 in second game playing consecutive nights. ... Green sat out for the fifth straight game with the injury while Alfonzo McKinnie missed his fifth in a row with a sore left foot.
Kings: Host Jazz on Sunday, the teams' second meeting in five days.
Warriors: Host Magic on Monday to conclude a four-game homestand over six days, having won 10 straight against Orlando and five consecutive at home.
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Updated November 25, 2018