LOS ANGELES -- This was all new for Kevin Durant.
Not the team. He has been wearing a Warriors jersey for four months.
Not the opponent, the Clippers, or the locale, Staples Center.
No, what was new and unfamiliar for Durant on Thursday night was his position. With Draymond Green sitting out with an injury and the Clippers starting a small lineup, Warriors coach Steve Kerr installed Durant at power forward.
Over nine-plus NBA seasons and 781 games, including the postseason, he had never started a game at power forward.
“I have never started at the 4 since college,” Durant said, recalling his one season at the University of Texas.
The 6-foot-9, 240-pound “small” forward survived, actually thrived, in a 133-120 Warriors victory.
Combining his typical duties with those normally filled by Green, Durant scored 26 points, dished for a season-high-tying 10 assists, grabbed eight rebounds and did not commit a turnover.
“It was cool tonight,” he said. “I felt like I could sit back there and survey the offense from the top of the key, make direct passes. I felt good about not having a turnover tonight after seven a couple games ago (Sunday night in Portland).”
Though Clippers star Blake Griffin scored a game-high 31 points, he didn’t hurt the Warriors. Griffin was minus-11 over his 30 minutes.
Kerr was pleased with the results. The Warriors outrebounded the Clippers 46-37 and committed 12 turnovers -- only seven through the first three quarters.
“He’s capable of playing 4,” Kerr said. “He’s guarded Blake before. It’s a lot of work. He’s a hell of a player and he’s strong, but I though KD was very good defensively.”
Is this something Durant wants to get used to? Not necessarily.
“For the most part, playing the 4 was fun,” he said. “Battling Blake was fun. Battling with DJ (DeAndre Jordan) down there was fun.
“But I can’t wait to get Draymond back.”
Durant won’t have to wait long. Green likely will be back Saturday, when the Warriors face the Kings in Sacramento.