Omri Casspi registered another landmark in his NBA career on Sunday night when he started for what is regarded as one of the greatest teams in league history, scoring 12 points in Golden State's 118-111 win at Brooklyn.
The 29-year-old Israeli forward filled in for the injured Kevin Durant, hitting 6-of-10 shots and also taking eight rebounds while blocking two shots in a season-high 23 minutes.
It was the second time this season Casspi has scored in double-figures for the reigning NBA champion, with the Israeli netting 13 points in a win over Minnesota earlier this month, a game also missed by Durant.
Last season's Finals MVP is expected to be back for Golden State's next game at Oklahoma City on Wednesday.
"Obviously, you don’t wish injuries on anybody, but that’s one of the benefits of having a deep roster like we do," Casspi said. "I was really excited when coach Steve [Kerr] texted me this afternoon about starting." Kerr was delighted with Casspi's play.
"He was great," Kerr said. "I loved his energy in the first half." Casspi has logged double-digit minutes in six of Golden State’s past eight games.
"I worked really hard and stuck with it through ups and downs with injuries and what not," Casspi said. "I feel like that’s how it should be with all basketball players. You’re professionals and we make a lot of money to play." Casspi has yet to display one of his strongest attributes with the Warriors, attempting only three 3-pointers so far this season and making all of them. He entered the season averaging 36.9 percent from beyond the arc in his career.
"It’s something I’ll have to get adjusted to and get the three in even more," he said.
Stephen Curry led the Warriors on Sunday with 39 points, 11 rebounds and seven assists.
Less than 24 hours after rallying from a 24-point deficit in Philadelphia, the Warriors did not experience any similar problems in the first half in Brooklyn. Golden State held a 22-point lead at halftime and a 28-point margin early in the third before the Nets got close.
Curry shot 14-of-24 from the floor and hit four 3-pointers, guiding the offense in the absence of Durant. Allen Crabbe scored 25 points and Spencer Dinwiddie added 21 for the Nets.Reuters contributed to this report