Kevin Durant emphatically showed who is still No 1 in the west, delivering a pair of jarring dunks late in the first half and finishing with 21 points and six assists to lead the Golden State Warriors past the Denver Nuggets 116-99.
He was then ejected on Tuesday night in a match-up of the top two teams in the conference.
DeMarcus Cousins had a season-best 28 points, on 12-for-17 shooting, 12 rebounds, five assists and two blocks for the Warriors (53-24), who have a two-game lead and the tiebreaker on Denver (51-26) with five games to go in the chase for the Western Conference’s top seed and home-court advantage throughout the playoffs.
Golden State lost out on the No 1 spot to Houston last year, but still went on to capture a repeat title.
Durant was ejected with 8:21 left in the third. He became furious wanting a foul call when he airballed a 3-point shot over Paul Millsap, then pointed at and yelled toward official Zach Zarba.
Cousins stood between Durant and Zarba, who wasted no time tossing the two-time reigning finals MVP.