Durant showed who he is – Kerr
Kevin Durant showed everybody who he is with his stunning performance in the Golden State Warriors' playoff win over the Los Angeles Clippers on Thursday, according to head coach Steve Kerr.
Durant had come in for heavy criticism after the Warriors blew a 31-point lead to allow the Clippers to level their first-round playoff series at 1-1, taking just eight shots in that meltdown.
However, three days after that collapse on their home court, the Warriors and two-time NBA Finals MVP Durant responded emphatically to take the third game of the series 132-105 in Los Angeles.
Durant racked up 38 points in just 29 minutes, tying a league record for points in a playoff game when playing 30 minutes or less. He is now 14th on the all-time postseason points list.
"It wasn't an adjustment, he just had a different mindset, set a tone right away and our guys loved it," said Kerr.
"His team-mates were excited about the way he started the game and I think that was infectious, carried over to the defense too. I thought the defense was fantastic.
"He was aggressive from the start, at both ends. He attacked. He said it [on Wednesday], he's Kevin Durant. And so he showed everybody who Kevin Durant is.
"He's a two-time Finals MVP and coming off a poor performance. That's what happens."
KD crossovers >pic.twitter.com/wQj2rTybHg— Golden State Warriors (@warriors) April 19, 2019
Team-mate Draymond Green was also full of praise for Durant, telling reporters: "He came out super-aggressive in kill mode. That was the only difference for us. We took control of the game right there in the first quarter and never lost control."
Durant, though, indicated his display was not about proving himself.
"I think coach Kerr came up with some plays for me at the start of the game," said Durant. "I think doing that kind of set the tone. Just putting pressure on the defense through post-ups, through dribble handoffs.
"I think that was something we talked about, just consciously with the way they play, just coming off a lot of Andrew Bogut screens, sitting in the post. If they double, guys are moving. We were just more patient tonight, to sum it up.
"I've been in the league 12 years. I'm 30. I don't need to show nobody nothing at this point."
Rejecting the notion he had been intentionally passive last time out, he added: "That's not true. I don't pass up shots. I play within the offense.
"I don't run the show on any team I've been a part of, I'm just a player, one of the guys. Whatever my coach needs me to do, no matter what it is, I just got to go out there and be prepared for it mentally and physically.
"Our focus has been on point since late March, with the exception of, like, six minutes last game."