Kevin Durant Reminds the World that he is Great, Warriors win 102-98
After beating the Charlotte Hornets on the back of Kevin Durant’s twitter verified #goodgame, the Golden State Warriors (20-6) flew to Michigan to take on the Detroit Pistons (14-10). The Warriors would be playing without Stephen Curry for the second straight game after he sprained his ankle. Draymond Green would be making his return to the lineup after missing the last game against the Hornets, but Patrick McCaw would still be out while dealing with a concussion. Zaza Pachulia would also be sitting out after injuring his shoulder. Replacing Steph and Zaza in the starting lineup would be Shaun Livingston and JaVale McGee. The Warriors were also looking to go 6-0 on a road trip for the first time ever. The Warriors would go on to win the game 102-98.
In the first quarter, the Warriors played excellent defenses after the first couple of minutes. They held the Pistons to just 32.1% shooting from the field, but the Pistons did shoot 50% from three. The Warriors had a good shooting quarter, shooting the ball at a 56.5% clip, but only went 1-5 from three. The Warriors defense was stifling, and at the end of the quarter, they had two steals to go with six blocks. Kevin Durant led the team in scoring with eight points, but Klay Thompson was close behind with six. The Warriors also only turned the ball over twice in the opening quarter, which puts them in a much better position than the last time they played the pistons, when they turned the ball over 26 times. After the first, the Warriors led the Pistons, 30-24.
The second quarter saw the Pistons coms storming back, and they shot 46% in the second quarter. Reggie Jackson led them in scoring with 14 points, while Kevin Durant led the Warriors with 14. The Warriors still struggled mightily from three, going 1-14 at halftime, but they were able to make up for that with their defense, as they blocked eight shots by halftime. At halftime, everyone on the Warriors active roster saw the floor and scored, the same couldn't be said about the Pistons. At the half, the Pistons led the Warriors 50-46.
In the third quarter, the Warriors took the game back over with a combination of stellar defense and Kevin Durant being great on offense. After three quarters, Detroit’s shooting percentage was at 39.4%, but they still were making a lot of their threes at a 47.4% clip. The Warriors shot the ball well through the third, and shot the ball at a 48.5% clip heading into the final quarter. The Warriors continued to struggle from three, but in the final two minutes, the Warriors made two buzzer-beating threes, one from Andre Iguodala and one from Quinn Cook. KD led the Warriors in scoring with 27 points, while also grabbing nine rebounds and dishing out six assists. The Piston’s leading scorer was Avery Bradley with 15 points. The Warriors led after the third quarter, 77-67.
In the fourth quarter, the Warriors played stellar defense, but allowed the Pistons to make a late run to nearly steal the game. Draymond Green’s defense throughout the entire quarter was absurd, and he finished the game with six blocks. KD also stepped up on defense down the stretch, and finished the game with five blocks. The Warriors shot 48.1% for the game, but were not good from beyond the arc, shooting just 26.9%. The Pistons’ shooting got significantly better down the stretch of the game, and finished shooting 41.3% from the field, and 44.4% from deep. The Warriors hung on to win the game 102-98, and went 6-0 on a road trip for the first time in franchise history.
Kevin Durant was spectacular, just as he was on wednesday against Charlotte. He finished with 36 points, 10 rebounds, 7 assists, 5 blocks, and 1 steal. It was a shame that he couldn’t dish out three more assists and have a #goodgame. Draymond Green also had a decent game while only scoring two points. He dished out 13 assists, grabbed six rebounds, blocked six shots, and stole the ball three times. Klay Thompson did his thing and scored 21 points despite a poor night from beyond the arc.
This was also the first time the Warriors went 6-0 on a road trip for the first time in their history, and it is the first time any NBA team has done that since the 2009 Los Angeles Lakers. The Warriors will be rewarded for their efforts by not having to leave the state of California until January 3.
The Warriors play their next game against the Portland Trail Blazers at home on Monday, December 11 at 7:30 p.m.