OAKLAND — Kevin Durant glided down the floor, crossed over Montrezl Harrell, pulled up and sank a 22-footer. As Draymond Green hopped up and down — celebrating at midcourt — Durant held his right arm extended in the air, exaggerating his follow through.
The first-half bucket gave Durant 25 on the night, 20,000 in his career and a spot in a legendary club.
LeBron James, Kobe Bryant, Wilt Chamberlain and Michael Jordan. That was the list, in order, of players who had scored 20,000 points before turning 30. Durant makes five.
Of the quintuple, Durant is the second fastest — needing only 11 games more than James — to clear the plateau.
“I don’t want to stop here,” Durant said. “I want to keep going. So I’m not going to think too much about it. I’ve got a lot of work to do.”
At halftime of the club’s eventual 125-106 loss to the Los Angeles Clippers, Stephen Curry, who missed out after re-spraining his ankle earlier in the day, took to Instagram to share his excitement.
“Hey, congratulations big fella. I got the first video,” Curry said before screeching with laughter.
With Curry and Thompson (rest) out, there wasn’t much reason for head coach Steve Kerr to smile after the defeat
“Our spirit wasn’t right. Our energy wasn’t right. We weren’t connected,” Kerr said. “And they were. They came in here — probably insulted that we were resting Klay — and obviously Steph goes down, and so, the game changes.”
The defeat marked the Warriors’ first regular-season loss to Clippers since Christmas Day 2014.
“They came in and just kicked our ass,” Kerr continued.
Clippers guard Lou Williams dropped 50 points on the Splash Brother-less Warriors, becoming the team’s 14th opponent to reach the half-century mark.
“He ordered a 50-piece nuggets on us tonight,” Durant. “If somebody scores 50 on you the way he did, you’ve just got to pay homage and move on.”
After Durant put up 25 in the opening half, he ended the evening with 40, knocking down 14 of 18 field goals and six of seven shots from beyond the arc.
Late in the first half, after hitting 20,000, Durant earned a roaring ovation from the Oracle crowd during a stoppage in play.
“You work so hard to be able to play well,” Durant said. “And for the people that come to watch you play, to recognize that, it means the world to me. I’m very humbled by the response. And I just want to keep going.”
By the time Kerr was asked about Durant’s feat, the head coach’s anger had subsided, his trademark wit back on display
“I don’t mean to downplay it, but he’s one of the all-time greats,” Kerr said. “So, there’s going to be another [milestone] in a month.
“He’s Kevin Durant.”