Programming note: Watch Wednesday's Warriors-Cavs game streaming live at 4:00 p.m. PT on the MyTeams app.
Over the first 12 games of the season, Kevin Durant averaged 17.9 field goal attempts per game.
In the next 11 games with Steph Curry sidelined, Durant averaged 23.5 field goal attempts per game (including 30 per game over the final three contests).
With Curry back in the mix on Saturday vs Detroit, the two-time Finals MVP went 9-for-19 from the field. And on Monday in Atlanta, Durant attempted just 13 shots (he made 10 of them).
Kevin Durant with the quietest 28 points and 8 assists of all-time? Dude was 10-for-13 from the field, too. Crazy— Drew Shiller (@DrewShiller) December 4, 2018
After the win, Anthony Slater of The Athletic asked Durant: "Do you prefer a night where you get 40 (points) on 25 shots or a night like tonight where you get 28 on 13 shots?"
"I love both," Durant answered. "But tonight was moreso -- I was telling myself when Steph gets it going to start the game, I still gotta be aggressive but in a different way. I was even more strategic with picking and choosing when I want to shoot.
"When Steph is going off like that, it allows me to play that type of game. And it's fun when you're playing a mental game like that. It's a little bit more of a challenge doing that than just chucking up shots and trying to get to 40. But both ways are pretty fun to play."
When you're as good as Durant -- and you're at this particular point of your career -- you do actually enjoy the nights over the course of a very long regular season where you play the game within the game. On a Monday night in early December against one of the worst teams in the league -- if your teammate is on fire in the first quarter like Steph Curry was (18 points on 6-for-7 shooting) -- you can consciously take a backseat when it comes to hunting shots and focus on other aspects of your game.
Since joining the Warriors, Durant has repeatedly said that he enjoys doing the little things to help his teammates have big scoring nights and doesn't want to be relied upon to rack up 30 plus points every game to have a chance to win.
"Steph scored the points, but we all had a hand in setting screens, throwing the ball to him, getting out his way so he can be aggressive," Durant told reporters.
Remember when Klay Thompson broke Curry's record and made 14 3-pointers vs the Bulls? It was Durant after the game who said: “The most important thing about tonight is that I passed it to him for his 14th 3." Durant didn't care whatsoever that he only scored 14 points that night on nine shots.
But don't get it twisted -- Durant loves putting the ball in the hoop more than anything and the Warriors absolutely need him to do just that when the games really matter...
Drew Shiller is the co-host of Warriors Outsiders. Follow him on Twitter @DrewShiller