Kevin Durant Erupts to lead Warriors on Comeback, Warriors win 128-100
After Stephen Curry’s volcanic eruption against the Washington Wizards on Wednesday, the Golden State Warriors (4-1) hit the road and flew to the Big Apple to take on the New York Knicks (1-4). The Warriors were looking to extend their winning streak to three games for the first time this year, while the Knicks were looking to snap their four-game skid. The Warriors were still all healthy, much like they were against the Wizards, but the Knicks were still missing a couple pieces. The Golden State Warriors went on to win the game 128-100 after an explosion from Kevin Durant in the fourth quarter.
The Knicks started the first quarter with an 8-2 run, and the Warriors were just playing catch-up until the first timeout. Tim Hardaway Jr. was balling for the Knicks, knocking down two threes, and one of them was from Curry-range. The Warriors weren’t chucking up threes, they were still playing good basketball, the Knicks were just hot and firing up threes like the Houston Rockets. Kevin Durant was hot early for the Warriors, with six early points. Two of those points came on a thunderous dunk off of a steal from Damian Jones. When the first timeout was called with 6:18 left in the quarter, the Knicks led 16-12. Stephen Curry got the scoring started after the timeout with a deep three, and he nailed a corner three on the next possession, he was still hot from Wednesday. He then made a tough layup before making ANOTHER three, he had 11-straight points. The Warriors were in the midst of a 13-0 run before Mario Hezonja made a layup to end it. Timeout was called after Hezonja’s bucket with 2:28 left in the quarter. At the time of the stoppage, the Warriors led 23-18. The Knicks then went on a 9-2 run to end the first quarter and tie the game. They did so by getting to the rim and making shots during a stretch in which Steve Kerr played one of his most questionable lineups of the season. Regardless, the score was tied at 25 after the first. Stephen Curry led both teams in scorings with 13 points. Lost in all the action on the court was DeMarcus Cousins, who is rehabbing his torn achilles, but he got ejected by Scott Foster while sitting on the bench, which was astoundingly funny.
Mario Hezonja made a layup to get the second quarter started, and the two teams were going back-and-forth until the Knicks called the first timeout of the quarter. The Knicks had the lead for most of the start to the quarter, but the Warriors took it back thanks to some nice shots (and a couple dunks) from Klay Thompson, Draymond Green, and Andre Iguodala. The Knicks called timeout with 7:49 left in the quarter and the Warriors leading 33-31. Klay made a tough reverse layup in traffic to get the scoring started after the stoppage, and Draymond Green nailed a three in the face of Enes Kanter on the next possession. The Warriors were in control for the majority of the time between stoppages, and Kevin Durant was the one controlling the Warriors. He made several tough shots and his first three of the night. He was up to 14 points on 6/7 shooting. The Knicks were forced to call timeout after Durant made a tough layup over Tim Hardaway Jr. with 3:07 left in the half and the Warriors leading 48-36. The Knicks went on a MASSIVE 17-5 run to tie the game heading into halftime. They did so with some nice shooting from Tim Hardaway Jr. and Frank Ntilikina, who both made some clutch threes. The Warriors just couldn’t do anything on either end in the final three minutes of the half, so heading to halftime, the score was tied at 53.
The Warriors were led in scoring by Kevin Durant, who had 16 points on 7/9 shooting with five rebounds. Stephen Curry was close behind with 14 points, Klay Thompson added eight points, and Draymond had seven. Klay Thompson continued to really struggle shooting the ball, and he was 4/13 from the field and 0/3 from three in the half. As a team, the Warriors were shooting a combined 50% (21/42) from the floor and 35.7% (5/14 from three). The Knicks were led by Tim Hardaway Jr. with 14 points, and Frank Ntilikina added 13 of his own. The Knicks shot a combined 40.8% (20/49) from the field and 33.3% (8/24) from three. The big difference between the two teams in the first half was the Knicks willingness and ability to make threes, whereas the Warriors were trying to shoot mid range jumpers and get to the hoop.
Frank Ntilikina knocked down a mid range jumper over Klay Thompson to get the third quarter started, but Klay returned the favor on the ensuing possession. Stephen Curry knocked down his first three of the half and fourth of the game, but the Warriors were just playing lifeless basketball to start the half. The Knicks were getting major contributions from Frank Ntilikina, Tim Hardaway Jr., and Damyean Dotson. That trio combined for 46 points at the time of the timeout. The Warriors just couldn’t get anything going, and the Knicks looked like they were in rhythm. Stephen Curry did make another three though, so that was fun. Steve Kerr eventually called timeout after a breakaway dunk from Tim Hardaway Jr., and the Knicks led 72-67 with 7:03 left in the quarter. Mitchell Robinson got the scoring started after the stoppage with a dunk for the Knicks, and they were just absolutely rolling for the next four minutes. The Knicks just could do whatever they wanted. They were scoring at will, forcing turnovers at will, grabbing offensive rebounds at will, it was incredibly annoying. The Warriors were apathetic, they looked like they had better things to be doing, and they let the Knicks get their biggest lead of the game. The Warriors called timeout with 3:09 left in the quarter and the Knicks leading 78-69. Stephen Curry nailed a jumper from the top of the key to get the scoring started after the timeout. The Warriors did go on a bit of a run end the quarter thanks to Kevon Looney , a Jonas Jerebko three, and Stephen Curry. They did everything they could to cut into the lead, and they did, cutting it to three by the end of the quarter. Stephen Curry was leading the Warriors with 26 points, Tim Hardaway Jr. had 24 to lead the Knicks. After the third quarter, the Knicks led 84-81.
Trey Burke nailed a three to open the fourth quarter for the Knicks, but Kevin Durant drilled a three on the next possession in response. The Warriors stormed back to take the lead after battling back-and-forth with free throws, and-1’s, and layups to open the quarter. Kevin Durant was leading the way, and had decided that he had seen enough of the Warriors losing to a team as bad as the Knicks. He was up to 26 points, so he scored 10 points in the first four minutes of the quarter. Kevin Durant nailed a tough layup to force David Fizdale to call a timeout with 8:15 left in the quarter and the Warriors led 93-91. Trey Burke nailed a three to give the Knicks the lead after the stoppage, but KD tied it with a tough runner from the left baseline. KD was hot, he nailed a win three, similar to the one from Game 3 of the 2017 finals to get the lead to four points. The Knicks made a basket to cut the lead back to just two points, but Draymond Green, Kevin Durant, and Klay Thompson all scored to make it an eight-point game. Klay’s backdoor basket in transition forced David Fizdale to call a timeout with 5:32 left in the game and the Warriors leading 104-96. At the time of the timeout Kevin Durant was outscoring the Knicks in the quarter 17-12. Kevin Durant nailed a mid range jumper to get the scoring going after the timeout, and he was just white-hot. Draymond Green nailed his second three of the night, Alfonzo McKinnie nailed his first three of the night to get the lead to 16 and force another timeout. David Fizdale called timeout 3:57 left in the game and the Warriors leading 112-96. The Warriors and KNicks traded quick baskets after the timeout before Kevin Durant nailed a DEEP three in the face of Noah Vonleh before nailing ANOTHER one on the next possession. Stephen Curry hit a three on the next possession and Steve Kerr called timeout to get his stars out of the game. Kevin Durant was up to 41 points and Steph had 29. With 2:04 remaining in the game, the Warriors led 121-100. The remaining two minutes were garbage time, and the Warriors won the game 128-100.
Kevin Durant finished as the game’s leading scorer with 41 points on 17/24 shooting while grabbing nine rebounds and dishing out five assists. Stephen Curry had 29 points while making more than five threes for the sixth-straight game, tying an NBA record. Draymond Green notched his season-high with 18 points on 7/8 shooting while making two threes, grabbing four rebounds, and dishing out six assists. Klay Thompson added 12 points on 6/18 shooting. Kevon Looney had nine points and Jonas Jerebko had eight to lead the bench unit. As a team the Warriors shot a combined 58.6% (51/87) from the floor and 48.5% (16/33) from three.
The Knicks were led by Tim Hardaway Jr. with 24 points on 9/21 shooting (4/12 from three). Frank Ntilikina added 17 points, Trey Burke also had 17 and both of those two made three threes apiece. Damyean Dotson had 12 points and was the lowest scoring of the four Knicks who were in double figures on the night. The Knicks combined to shoot 43.3% (39/80) from the floor and 33.3% (13/39) from three.
Last night was about Stephen Curry, but tonight was all about Kevin Durant. He had a rather pedestrian 16 points after the third quarter, but he erupted like Mt. Saint Helens in the fourth quarter. He had 25 of his 41 points in the final quarter, and personally outscored the Knicks 25-16 to end the game. It looked like he was playing at Rucker Park again, and for those of you who don’t get the reference, you NEED to see this video:
Kevin Durant’s game is so unique that it simply cannot be explained in simple terms. The simplest way you can explain it is by saying that he has a guard’s shooting/handles in a big man’s body, but that is doing him a disservice in my opinion. Kevin Durant is like the human version of a Daddy Longlegs spider if that spider had the venom of a black mamba, the speed of a cheetah, and also happens to be holding a bazooka. He is a walking cheat code, a physical impossibility, he’s a unicorn. He’s the guy that will score eight points on you every quarter until the day he dies, and even then he will probably still be able to score at least 22+ points every game from beyond the grave.
During the last three seasons in Golden State he has become the most efficient scorer in the league, and it isn’t particularly close. It is just unbelievably cool to have him on your favorite team.
Durant’s two-time MVP running mate, Stephen Curry, was still absurd tonight. He added 29 points while making six threes, and tied the record for most consecutive games with 5+ made threes. On the season he is 39/74 from three, that’s 52.7%, which is ridiculous. He is on pace to make 533 threes this season, which would SHATTER the single-season record of 402 that he set en route to winning the MVP award unanimously. I guess what I’m trying to say is that this Warriors team is ridiculous, especially when they try and play hard.
Even in a game that looked like it was doomed to be a loss for the Warriors they found a way to come back and somehow blow out the opposition. This scrappy group of underdogs might just be the greatest team of all time.
The Golden State Warriors play next on Sunday, October 28 in New York against the Brooklyn Nets at 2:00 p.m.