Warriors Beat Lakers in Regular Season Finale

The Warriors finished the regular season on a high note after defeating the visiting Los Angeles Lakers 109-94 on Wednesday night. Kevin Durant led all scorers with 29 points to go along with eight rebounds and five assists. He and Stephen Curry each knocked down five three-pointers, while Patrick McCaw and JaVale McGee scored in double-digits off the bench. With the victory, Golden State finishes the 2016-17 regular season with a record of 67-15. They’ll now advance to the playoffs where they’ll take on the Portland Trail Blazers in the first round.

In what amounted to a meaningless game for Golden State, both Kevin Durant and Stephen Curry played up until the fourth quarter, but in doing so, provided the scoring punch to ensure the Warriors would conclude the regular season on a winning note. Jordan Clarkson drained a three-pointer 90 seconds into the contest to give the Lakers a momentary 3-2 advantage, but that would prove to be their only lead of the entire night. Zaza Pachulia’s jumper on the ensuing possession would put the Warriors back in front, and Golden State would remain there for the duration of the game.

Durant came out on fire, accounting for 15 points in the opening quarter on 5-of-7 shooting from the field and a perfect 3-of-3 from three-point range. Curry would match Durant with three treys of his own, as the Warriors built a 19-point lead with three minutes remaining in the first frame that would be trimmed down to 43-28 at its conclusion. It was Golden State’s 19th 40-point quarter of the season.

Los Angeles opened the second quarter on an 11-4 run to cut the deficit to eight points, but that’s as close as they’d get for the remainder of the game. Durant added another nine points in the frame, while Patrick McCaw accounted for seven, as Golden State rebuilt their lead to 64-50 going into halftime.

Klay Thompson opened the second half with a jumper and made his lone three-pointer of the evening and his 268th of the season at the 10:37 mark of the third quarter to establish the seventh-highest single-season three-point total in NBA history. After Larry Nance converted a three-pointer to cut the deficit to 78-64 with 5:48 left in the frame, Curry immediately responded with another trey of his own to ignite a 15-6 Warriors’ run to close the quarter that would put the game out of reach.

With the game well in hand, Steve Kerr sent the starters to the bench and allowed the reserves to finish off the eventual victory. Ian Clark gave the Warriors their largest lead of the entire night with a three-pointer just over a minute into the final quarter to increase their advantage to 97-70, and that would prove to be all the scoring they would need to win the game. The Lakers trimmed that lead in half over the next five minutes, but Golden State’s reserves eventually regained their footing and kept Los Angeles at bay. JaVale McGee scored with 36 seconds remaining for the Warriors’ final points of the regular season, which came to a close with a 109-94 victory.

With the win, Golden State finishes the regular season with a record of 67-15. Next, they’ll take on the Portland Trail Blazers in the first round of the playoffs, beginning with Game 1 at Oracle Arena on Sunday.

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