Durant back in the fold

Kevin Durant of the Golden State Warriors goes up to shoot over Alexis Ajinca of the New Orleans Pelicans in the third quarter of their NBA Basketball game at Oracle Arena in Oakland, California, on April 8, 2017.
Kevin Durant of the Golden State Warriors goes up to shoot over Alexis Ajinca of the New Orleans Pelicans in the third quarter of their NBA Basketball game at Oracle Arena in Oakland, California, on April 8, 2017. PHOTO: AFP

LOS ANGELES • Kevin Durant scored 16 points on his return from injury as the Golden State Warriors won their 14th straight National Basketball Association (NBA) game with a 123-101 win over the New Orleans Pelicans on Saturday.

Durant also finished with a game-high 10 rebounds and six assists as he played 31 minutes at the Amway Centre after missing 19 games with a knee injury.

"I felt good putting my jersey on and running out with the team. It felt normal again," he said.

The Warriors (66-14) extended the NBA's longest winning streak this season despite the absence of Stephen Curry, who was sidelined by a bruised left knee.

The Pelicans (33-47) played without their star big men DeMarcus Cousins and Anthony Davis, who were both injured.

At the Moda Centre, Damian Lillard scored a franchise-record 59 points to power the Portland Trail Blazers to a 101-86 victory over the Utah Jazz.

Lillard broke the club record of 54 points set by Damon Stoudamire in 2005. He sank 18 of 34 shots from the field, nine of 14 from three-point range and 14 of 16 from the foul line.

Portland improved to 40-40 and their magic number for earning the eighth and final play-off spot in the Western Conference is one. They will need one more victory or one Denver Nuggets loss.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 10, 2017, with the headline 'Durant back in the fold'. Print Edition | Subscribe