Warriors

Instant Replay: Durant scores 29, Warriors finish with 67 wins

Instant Replay: Durant scores 29, Warriors finish with 67 wins

BOX SCORE

OAKLAND -- The Warriors closed the regular season precisely as they would have wished Wednesday night, posting a 109-94 victory over the Lakers with Kevin Durant in a starring role.

Moving gracefully and with considerable force in his third game back after recovering from a knee injury, Durant scored a game-high 29 points to lead the Warriors (67-15), who closed the season by winning 15 of 16 games.

With 207 wins over the past three seasons, the Warriors hold the record for the most victories by any team over a three-season span.

Stephen Curry tallied 20 points, falling 1 point short of 2,000 for the season. Pat McCaw tossed in 13 points, while Klay Thompson added 12 and JaVale McGee 11 before the 230th consecutive sellout crowd at Oracle Arena.

With Draymond Green and Andre Iguodala resting, the Warriors played all 11 available players on the roster. All 11 entered the scoring column.

All five Los Angeles starters reached double figures, with Jordan Clarkson’s 17 points taking team honors. The Lakers, who entered with a five-game win streak, finish the season at 26-56.

STANDOUT PERFORMER

Durant used his third and final pre-postseason tune-up to make an emphatic statement: He’s ready to roll.

Durant’s line: 29 points (11-of-16 shooting from the field, 5-of-7 beyond the arc, 2-of-4 from the line), eight rebounds, five assists, one block and one steal. He played 27 minutes and was plus-28.

TURNING POINT

The Warriors established control early in the game, taking leads of 11 (21-10, 7:09 left in the first quarter) and 19 (35-16, 3:04 left in the quarter).

The Lakers pulled within eight (47-39) with 8:06 left in the half but got no closer than 12 in the second half.

INJURY UPDATE

Warriors: F Matt Barnes (R ankle/foot sprain), F Draymond Green (rest), F Andre Iguodala (rest) and F Kevon Looney (L hip strain) were listed as out.

Lakers: F Brandon Ingram (R patellar tendinitis) was listed as probable and upgraded to available. G D’Angelo Russell (personal) and C Ivica Zubac (R high ankle sprain) were listed as out.

WHAT’S NEXT

The Warriors return to action Sunday at Oracle Arena, where they play host to the Portland Trail Blazers in Game 1 of their first-round Western Conference playoff series.

Warriors' Juan Toscano-Anderson looks forward to guarding James Harden

Warriors' Juan Toscano-Anderson looks forward to guarding James Harden

James Harden scored 29 points on 16 field-goal attempts the last time the Warriors faced the Houston Rockets back on Feb. 20. Houston won that game 135-105, and it sounds like Golden State's Juan Toscano-Anderson was looking forward to the rematch.

With the NBA season indefinitely suspended due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, Toscano-Anderson and the Warriors have some free time on their hands. Toscano-Anderson made use of it by holding a Q&A on Twitter on Saturday night, at which time he was asked which player -- whether teammate or opponent -- he was most looking forward to playing with or against when the season starts back up.

Toscano-Anderson provided multiple answers.

"Excited to get our whole team back to full strength," Toscano-Anderson replied. "I was very excited to guard James Harden."

Well, you've got to appreciate the fact that he's not afraid of a challenge. There might not be a tougher player to guard than Harden in the entire league, but then again, Toscano-Anderson didn't finally establish himself as an NBA player this season by taking the easy way out.

[RELATED: Toscano-Anderson reveals all-time Warriors starting five]

The Warriors and Rockets were scheduled to play each other for a fourth and final time this season in Houston on April 2. Obviously, that particular game won't take place on that day, but whether it is postponed or canceled, Toscano-Anderson surely will have more opportunities to try to make things harder on Harden.

Seven candidates for Warriors' massive Andre Iguodala trade exception

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AP

Seven candidates for Warriors' massive Andre Iguodala trade exception

The Warriors don't know if or when the current NBA season will resume, much less the next one. But whenever the 2020-21 season takes place, they'll likely have used several assets at their disposal with which to return to a level of legitimate contention.

But in terms of the Warriors' asset that likely will have the greatest determining impact on their success next season, the $17.2 million trade exception they received for sending Andre Iguodala to the Memphis Grizzlies last summer stands apart from the rest.

Trade exceptions cannot be combined with others, so through the Iguodala trade exception, Golden State cannot acquire a player making more than $17.2 million (technically, it's $17,185,185.) However, trade exceptions can be split, so the Warriors could theoretically use the Iguodala trade exception to acquire multiple players, as long as their combined salaries don't exceed that amount.

While Golden State should absolutely be able to acquire a good player with that trade exception, the Dubs will have the added challenge of only having a tight window with which to use it. Once the league moratorium concludes at noon ET on July 6 (as currently scheduled), the Warriors will only have until the end of the following day to utilize the exception in a trade. They cannot use it prior to the moratorium, though in theory, they could agree to a trade at any point along the way.

Given the indefinite league stoppage due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, it's possible that Golden State will be granted some kind of an extension to use the Iguodala trade exception, but there is no guarantee. Whenever it expires, however, the Warriors would be wise to use it on one of the following seven players prior to that point.

CLICK FOR SEVEN POTENTIAL CANDIDATES FOR THE IGUODALA TRADE EXCEPTION