Milestone puts Durant in rarefied company

OAKLAND (California) • It was a special night for Kevin Durant, after he became the second-youngest player - behind LeBron James - to reach his 20,000th National Basketball Association (NBA) point.

But the Golden State forward's season-high 40 points was not enough to eclipse Lou Williams' career-best 50, as the Warriors fell 106-125 to the Los Angeles Clippers at the Oracle Arena on Wednesday.

"He is one of the all-time greats," said Warriors coach Steve Kerr. "He's Kevin Durant. The second youngest to do it.

"Who is the youngest? LeBron, not bad company."

At 29, Durant is the 44th player to reach the points milestone and he ended the night on 20,015 points. Only James at 28 reached the mark quicker.

Durant was six-of-seven from three-point range, but could not prevent the end of a five-game winning streak for Golden State, who own the NBA' s best record of 33-9.

Golden State Warriors' Kevin Durant draining a jumper against the LA Clippers on Wednesday, in a game in which the 29-year-old became the second-youngest to cross the 20,000-point mark. Cleveland Cavaliers' LeBron James, at 28, was the youngest to reach the mark in 2013. PHOTO: EPA-EFE

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  • Kevin Durant is the 44th player to score 20,000 points in the NBA.

Williams made sure of that with 27 points in the third, the most by any player in any quarter this season. It helped the Clippers (19-21) rally from a nine-point deficit as they rattled off 13 consecutive points to turn the tables and take an 85-81 edge on Williams' basket with 3min 55sec remaining.

The guard scored 18 straight points and ended his scoring spree with a three-pointer, one of the eight he made from 16 attempts, with 4.2sec left in the period.

That 39-point quarter gave Los Angeles a 97-90 lead to take into the final stanza.

"Third quarter, I had a great stretch," Williams told ESPN.

"I had a couple of 15-foot jumpers, rhythm shots. Scorers, when we get shots like that, the basket feels extremely big.

"Tonight, it was a good night for me and I was able to make shots."

He also added seven assists to help his team snap a 12-game losing streak against Golden State.

"It was hard to stop him," Durant said of the man who spoilt his night. "His pull-up three is a cash shot. We were too loose on him and let him go wherever he wanted."


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 12, 2018, with the headline 'Milestone puts Durant in rarefied company'. Print Edition | Subscribe