Kevin Durant produced such a virtuoso performance that Stephen Curry had to tweet about it and the Golden State Warriors punctuated the club’s first 6-0 road trip, taking care of the Detroit Pistons, 102-98, on Friday night.
“6-0 — that’s a hell of a trip no matter what, but particularly with Steph out the last two games,” Kerr told reporters.
“I think him being out actually probably helped us focus because we knew we had to play sharper in order to win,” Kerr added.
After going for a 35-point triple double two nights ago, Durant again flooded the box score. The 2017 Finals MVP scored 36, recorded 10 rebounds, handed out seven assists, totaled five blocks and collected one steal.
The Warriors weathered a five-minute stretch without a field goal in the fourth as the Pistons pulled to within two, 84-82, at the midway mark in the quarter. The Pistons again pulled to within two after a Durant turnover lead to a Avery Bradley 3-pointer with 22.7
Durant fueled a trademark third-quarter burst, going for 13 points as the Warriors went from down four at the break to up 10 heading into the final stanza.
Amid that blitz, Curry, who’s back home, sent out a tweet, expressing his amazement.
— Stephen Curry (@StephenCurry30) December 9, 2017
Durant said he treats NBA games the same way he approached pickup games growing up.
“As soon as I wake up, I feel like this whole life is like a street-ball game for me,” Durant explained. “So, I look at it as such. So, when I get out there, I just try to get creative.
The electric period ended in fitting fashion as Quinn Cook knocked down a 26-footer to beat the buzzer and hand the Warriors a 77-67 cushion.
The Warriors had trailed, 50-46, at the half after an uncharacteristically quiet second quarter. Golden State managed just 16 points during the period as the hosts continued to outshoot them from beyond the arc.
During the opening 24 minutes, the Pistons knocked down half of their triples (7-for-14), while the Warriors were 1-for-12 from distance.
Even as Kerr called on all seven of his subs, only one Warrior, Durant, managed double figures.
45 for 35
Durant dropped eight points in the first, moving past Bernard King into 45th place on the NBA’s all-time scoring list.
A Draymond night
Draymond Green was 1-for-6 from the field and 0-for-5 from 3-point range, totaling just two points, but he still left his fingerprints all over the win. Green dished a season-high 13 assists, blocked six shots, grabbed six rebounds and recorded three steals.
Shaun gets the start
After Cook started in the place of Stephen Curry in the two-time MVP’s first game out, Shaun Livingston got the nod against the Pistons. In his second start, Livingston had 10 points, connecting on four of seven field goals.
Cook, who scored seven points in 16 minutes off the bench, delivered another impressive moment on a play that didn’t even count, sinking a long-range effort from the top of the opposite key just after the first-quarter buzzer sounded.
Zaza Pachulia (left shoulder soreness) was out of the starting lineup for the second time in three games. The center exited Wednesday’s night win over the New Orleans Pelicans less than five minutes into the opening quarter.
In Pachulia’s place, JaVale McGee started, delivering a pair of blocks. As a group, the Dubs redirected 15 shots.