(Associated Press Photo)

Kevin Durant made his approach to taking over a pivotal NBA playoff game sound so simple — and look that way, too.

“I just try to tell myself that I’m at my best when I don’t care what happens after the game, the outcome or anything,” Durant said. “That’s when I’m free and having fun out there, and forceful. That was thing — just try to play with force no matter if I missed shots or not, just keep shooting, keep being aggressive.”

Durant scored Golden State’s first two baskets on pull-up jumpers of 21 and 15 feet before a minute-and-a-half had elapsed in Game 4 of the Warriors’ Western Conference semifinal series against New Orleans on Sunday. He finished with 38 points on 15-of-27 shooting to go with nine rebounds, and Golden State soundly defeated the Pelicans 118-92 to take a commanding 3-1 series lead back to the West Coast.

Warriors guard Stephen Curry said it was apparent early that getting the ball to Durant would be wise.

“Just find ways to get him in scoring positions,” Curry said. “Sometimes, that’s not really hard to do — just throw it to him.

“Just keep the game simple at that point because he’s such a great scorer, you don’t have to really overthink things.”

The Warriors lost by 19 in Game 3 Friday and the Pelicans were looking to even the series. Instead, the Warriors responded with a resounding effort that produced a wire-to-wire win with leads as large as 26 points. Curry scored 23, Klay Thompson added 13 and Quinn Cook, who was a Pelicans reserve earlier this season, contributed 12 points.

Anthony Davis had 26 points and 12 rebounds for New Orleans, but the Pelicans hit only 36 percent (32 of 88) of their shots, missing 22 of 26 3-point attempts.

Pelicans coach Alvin Gentry said Golden State’s defense “had a lot to do with” the Pelicans’ poor shooting.

“We didn’t have the looks we normally have,” he said. “We pressed a little bit when we got behind.”


Andrew Suarez is fitting in San Francisco’s rotation just fine, especially after his first career road start was added to the Giants’ ledger of impressive results away from home.

Suarez outpitched Mike Soroka in a rookie matchup, and San Francisco survived Atlanta’s ninth-inning rally for a 4-3 win on Sunday and the Giants’ first series sweep of the Braves in four years.

Giants starters have a 2.55 ERA in 17 road games after Suarez (1-1) allowed only one unearned run and seven hits and one walk in 5 1/3 innings for his first win.

Suarez, a left-hander, shut down Braves hitters that began the day leading the majors with a .274 average and leading the National League in several categories, including runs.

“It’s something I’m never going to forget, for sure,” Suarez said. “I’m just happy we got the win and especially the sweep.”

Suarez has allowed two earned runs in two starts since he was recalled from Triple-A Sacramento on May 1 to replace the injured Johnny Cueto in the rotation.

“That’s huge and that’s what has to happen,” said manager Bruce Bochy. “When you have injuries, hopefully you have depth and you have somebody come up and do a nice job for you.”


Andrew Triggs found his rhythm and control, leading to his best outing of the season.

The 29-year-old right-hander allowed two hits over seven innings, Khris Davis and Matt Olson drove in runs and the Oakland Athletics rallied to beat Baltimore 2-1 Sunday to extend the Orioles’ losing streak to six games.

“They’re down, but they have an explosive offense and a great manager,” A’s manager Bob Melvin said. “You just hope they stay down while they’re here.”

Triggs (3-1) struck out nine and walked none, retiring his last 12 batters. Lou Trivino pitched a perfect eighth, and Blake Treinen finished the three-hitter for his fifth save in seven chances as Oakland completed a three-game sweep and extended its home winning streak to five.

“It’s nice to go out there and execute the way you want,” Triggs said. “It’s fun. I saw what the guys did Friday and Saturday, and I wanted to follow their lead. I tweaked a few things, and my slider was a little better than it had been.”

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