After Game 2, Kevin Durant can now relate to James Harden


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HOUSTON — The Warriors had only one All-Star on the court on Wednesday.

Sure, Stephen Curry, Draymond Green and Klay Thompson were all in uniform — but Kevin Durant was the lone bright spot in what was a dreary night for the Warriors’ fearsome foursome.

Durant had 38 points on 13-for-22 shooting from the field (59 percent) in the Warriors’ 127-105 loss to the Houston Rockets in Game 2 of their Western Conference Finals series, which is now tied at 1-1.

“Kevin was great,” Warriors’ coach Steve Kerr said. “He was the one guy who was attacking. He kept us in the game for most of the night.”

Meanwhile, Curry and Thompson, two of the best pure shooters in the NBA, couldn’t get anything going for them offensively, finishing a combined 10-for-30 from the field. And Green, who has long been called the engine that makes the team run, seemed as though his motor was broken, finishing with nearly as many fouls (four) and turnovers (four), as points (six), rebounds (six) and assists (six).

With his teammates flailing, Durant decided to take over.

“When I get the ball, I feel like I have to be aggressive and do something,” Durant said. “I don’t want to stand around and pass on the perimeter. Then we get late in the clock from all the switching and we have to throw up a bad shot. I just want to be aggressive when I get the ball. Maybe someone might come, if not, I shoot my shot.”

Durant was on his own Wednesday.

But, if nothing else, the game was an exercise in empathy for Durant considering James Harden, his former teammate on the Oklahoma City Thunder, was in his position in Game 1 — in short, all alone on an island.

It was Durant’s turn to experience that cold reality Wednesday. Harden had four other teammates in double-figures, while Durant only had one.

Curry was quick to point out that won’t be a trend.

“If [Durant] can continue to do what he does, I’ll shoot the ball better and play better defense, other guys will get involved, and we’ll be in great shape,” Curry said. “No panic, no house is on fire type of mentality. We’re in great shape right now.”

Even Durant had some struggles Wednesday, finishing with a team-high five turnovers. Despite almost single-handedly preventing the Warriors’ 22-point blowout from being even worse, Durant went on to take responsibility for not setting the right tone at the top of the game.

“I started the game off with a turnover and I can’t have that and a foul,” Durant said. “I got Trevor Ariza going and the crowd going. So, I take full responsibility for the start of the game. After that, it was just contagious and my teammates kind of followed my lead. I can’t start the game off like that.”

On the contrary, if Durant’s play had been in contagious, the Warriors wouldn’t have ended up in such …read more

Source:: The Mercury News – Sports

      

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