The Los Angeles Lakers retired Kobe Bryant’s No. 8 and No. 24 numbers at halftime, and Kevin Durant delivered a Black Mamba-ish performance. He shot 10-for-29 from the field and dropped 36 points in the Golden State Warriors’ 116-114 overtime win on Monday.
Durant poured in his final 12 in the extra period as the Warriors have now won nine in a row — a streak which began with another overtime victory at Staples Center on Nov. 29.
With Stephen Curry, Zaza Pachulia and Shaun Livingston all resting at home, Draymond Green was the only member of the injured quartet to make the trip south.
Stationed at the end of the bench, barking out orders in a double-breasted navy blue suit, we found out Green looks the part of an assistant.
Here are five more things we learned in the overtime win …
KD’s great even when he’s not
Durant nearly finished with a triple double — 36 points, 11 rebounds, eight assists — on a night he shot 34 percent from the field.
The Finals MVP continues to establish himself as one of the premier defensive forwards in the NBA. Durant had multiple blocks for the sixth time in as many games. None was more important than an acrobatic rejection of Kentavious Caldwell-Pope with just over four minutes in regulation. If not for Durant’s block, the Lakers would have pushed ahead on Caldwell-Pope’s layup.
Andre can still play big minutes
The question is whether the 33-year-old veteran should be getting such significant run.
Iguodala played a season-high 37 minutes against the Lakers, scoring nine points, grabbing eight rebounds and dishing four assists. Finishing a game-high plus-19, Iguodala was the Warriors’ best all-around player.
Since Curry went down, Iguodala’s minutes have been up with the Warriors in need of ball-handling help. Iguodala has logged 30 minutes in four of the last five games — playing 29 in the other.
Jordan Bell is a shot-blocking monster but makes rookie mistakes
Early in the third quarter, Bell rose into the air, meeting Brandon Ingram at the apex of his jump as he attempted to dunk. Bell blocked the second-year Laker so emphatically that he crashed to the court and had to disappear into the locker room to get checked out.
Before that, Bell stood over Ingram, staring, instead of sprinting down the floor on offense. Kerr promptly hooked him.
Omri Casspi is becoming the most valuable Warrior on a dollar-by-dollar basis
Playing on a veteran’s minimum worth just over $2.1 million, Omri Casspi has produced back-to-back double doubles.
Casspi was efficient — 5-for-9 from the field, 4-for-4 from the free-throw line — as he continues to emerge as yet another steal for Bob Myers, the club’s president of basketball ops and general manager.
Kobe’s ego didn’t retire
Kobe’s dual-jersey retirement ceremony, which ran 28 minutes, began with a clip of Bryant’s short film “Dear Basketball,” named after his poem of the same title. The animated film features Kobe talking about Kobe — in the third person. The ceremony closed with Bryant uttering his famous catch phrase — “Mamba out” — and slowly dropping the mic at half court.
In between, Lakers president Earvin Magic Johnson dubiously described Bryant as the greatest player to wear the purple and gold.