With just over 10 minutes to go in the third quarter on Wednesday night, Kevin Durant soared into the air to block a three-point attempt before redirecting the loose ball to an onrushing Steph Curry.
Curry took a single dribble and then flipped a behind-the-back half-court pass to Durant who slammed home the dunk.
That was the kind of show that the MVPs and their Golden State Warriors teammates put on at the Valley View Casino Center in San Diego, as they beat the Los Angeles Lakers 123-112.
The win over the their Western Conference neighbors capped off the Warriors’ 3-0, six-day preseason road swing. In the team’s second-to-last dress rehearsal, Curry led the way with 32 points in 31 minutes. The point guard shot 11-for-19 from the field — as he went 6-for-12 from beyond the arc.
Half of those three-pointers came in the fourth quarter, as head coach Steve Kerr gave his starters the chance to close out the game for the first time during the preseason.
“The main reason was to get the conditioning,” Kerr told reporters afterward. “We weren’t worried about whether we won the game or not, it was more just that we wanted to get them up near 30 minutes.”
All of the members of the big four impressed, as Curry, Durant, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green combined for 88 points, 22 rebounds, 22 assists and eight steals.
“We trust these guys,” Kerr said. “All we really demand is that they share the ball, they keep the floor spaced and they keep moving. Whatever shots they want, they can have because they’re great shooters.”
Durant went for 27 points, while Thompson added 19 points and eight assists. That assist total would have been a career high — if preseason stats counted.
“I just made the simple play and a lot of times it was a simple bounce pass or a kick out,” Thompson said. “So, it’s nothing new I do.”
Green totaled 10 points, while grabbing eight boards and handing out four assists, and even Zaza Pachulia accounted for five assists.
Kevon Looney enjoyed the best night of all the team’s second-unit players. Playing 15 minutes off the bench, Looney scored 10 points — his best output in five preseason games.
During his postgame press conference, Kerr said that Looney will get plenty of chances to play with the starters, as the team has limited options at the power forward spot.
“They’ll find you for layups and spoon-feed you for dunks and stuff,” Looney said of getting the opportunity to run with the first unit. “So, that’s the easiest for me.”
Center JaVale McGee also produced a strong showing in the fourth quarter, as the 28-year-old tightened his grip on the 15th and final roster spot. In seven minutes, McGee contributed eight points and a pair of rebounds.
“He gives us something we don’t have with our other bigs in terms of that incredible length and spring,” Kerr said. “So, it’s a good change of pace.”Draymond GreenGolden State WarriorsKevin DurantNBASteph Curry