OAKLAND -- No Klay, no problem.
The Warriors eventually put away the pesky Miami Heat, 107-95, Tuesday night. But it took some time Tuesday to adjust to the absence of All-Star shooting guard Klay Thompson, and that was particularly true of Kevin Durant.
“I was rushing early on,” said Durant, who took 10 shots in the first quarter. “I rushed five shots. My first five shots were terrible looks. I was just throwing the ball up there. It was bad to watch, I’m sure.
“But I settled in and told myself I don’t have to make up for Klay being out. Just play my game. We’re going to do it as a group, and it started to come to me a bit.”
Durant missed his first five shots before roaring in for a dunk with 3:49 left in the first quarter. He made his next three shots before missing a layup inside the final minute.
“They were keying in on Kevin a little bit,” Andre Iguodala said. “When Klay is out there, they’re not able to. KD started (0-for-5) and on a lot of those drives, they were collapsing on him a little bit and he had to take tough shots.”
Durant made 10 of his final 16 shots, finishing with a team-high 28 points.
With Thompson sitting out to rest, and rookie Pat McCaw starting in his place, Warriors coach Steve Kerr made several unusual moves. Most notably, he kept Stephen Curry and Durant on the floor for the entire first quarter.
The two combined for 52 points, carrying the offense on a night when the floor spacing was very different without Thompson’s constant movement and long-range shooting threat.
“We just got settled in,” Curry said. “We didn’t have to really force anything. It was a little different with certain possessions when we had Klay coming off screens and you keep the ball moving. He can obviously finish a lot of possessions shooting the ball.”
The Warriors trailed 54-53 at the half, but outscored the Heat 54-41 after intermission.
“We just made small adjustments and figured it out,” Iguodala said. “That’s the good thing about our team and our depth. We can adjust to any style and make it work.”
Thompson is expected back Thursday night, when the Warriors face Detroit at Oracle Arena.