MEMPHIS, Tenn -- Throughout his career, Kevin Durant has been known as a lethal scorer.
Coupled with offensive brilliance is an historic record of efficiency from the floor. Six years ago, he became just the seventh player in NBA history to shoot 50 percent from the field, 40 percent from 3-point range and 90 percent from the free throw line.
In Wednesday's 118-103 win over the Grizzlies, Durant scored 28 points, making 12 of his 13 shots, providing yet another reminder of his skillset.
"It was amazing," Green said. "He was picking and choosing his spots early on, facilitating and then when we needed him the most, he just took over the game and got buckets for us. It was a great night from him and we needed it."
Over the last week, Durant -- a career 27.1 per game scorer -- has incentivized efficiency and facilitating over high point totals. In his last two games, he's made 17-of-19 shots, averaging eight assists and seven rebounds per contest.
With Klay Thompson and Stephen Curry shooting a combined 12-32 from the field Wednesday, Durant made his first eight shots, with an array of fadeaway jumpers, dunks, and even catching a full-court pass from Draymond Green to beat the halftime buzzer. During the fourth quarter, with the Warriors nursing a two-point lead, he scored seven straight points to put the game out of reach.
Wow. What a play to end the first half 🔥 pic.twitter.com/olGxWiPrUU— Warriors on NBCS (@NBCSWarriors) March 28, 2019
"He made all the right decisions," Curry said. "I know we had a couple of turnovers as a team but just reading the situation, letting the game come to him. You obviously know he can put it in the basket from everywhere on the court but choosing spots and knocking down shots, that's what he does."
Though a career 49 percent shooter, Durant's journey to solid efficiency was a process. After shooting a career-low from the field, Durant, then a member of the Thunder, began a process each game to let him know which shots to take and not take while on the floor.
"I started charting my shots," Durant said following the victory. "That kind of reminded me I had to take good shots. It keeps me locked in on the flow of the game. So I guess its a game within a game."
The trick helped, as Durant has shot no less than 47 percent in each of his last 10 seasons, including the 2012-13 season when he averaged 28.1 points on 51 percent from the field, 41.6 percent from 3-point range and 90.5 percent from the free throw line.
"The game is easy for Kevin," Kerr said. "It just is. I don't think there's ever been anybody as skilled at his size in the history of the league so he just does whatever he wants."
"He does whatever he wants each game," Kerr added. "I felt like he could've gone 24-of-25 [tonight] if he wanted but he was distributing the ball and trying to get everybody involved and he was brilliant."
Durant's latest quest for uber efficiency started Sunday, when, after making just 9-of-25 shots in a loss to Dallas Mavericks a day earlier, he took just six shots against the Detroit Pistons, dishing out 11 assists along the way. That prompted curiosity within some observers, even causing his teammate Green to say, "when it's money time, we're not going to have Kevin shooting six times." Following Wednesday's game, Green, like the rest of the team, approved of his performance.
"There's a time and a place for it," Green said. "I think tonight he picked and chose his spots well and got everybody else involved and he took over the game."
Time will tell how long Durant will keep this style of play up, but, whether he's putting big numbers in points or his current style, Golden State will be fine as long as the wins keep coming.
"He's one of the most efficient players ever," Kerr said. "He can get any shot he wants against any defense so regardless of how someone is playing us, he can go get a shot and its a good shot."