OAKLAND – That Kevin Durant used his postgame platform to get extra spicy with media on Wednesday obscured the fact that he was superb in initiating the deconstruction of the San Antonio Spurs.
The notion that these Warriors would lose to this band of Spurs – with LaMarcus Aldridge and DeMar DeRozan unavailable – was unfathomable. It was close for most of the first half, and then the Warriors shifted into ruthless gear and rolled to a 141-102 win at Oracle Arena.
Here are some of the positives and negatives in the 39-point victory:
Shooting was razor sharp
Durant was 9-of-13 from the field, including 3-of-4 from deep. Klay Thompson was even better, 11-of-13 and 4-of-5. Stephen Curry was 7-of-12 and 3-of-5. Their combined sharpshooting, 27-of-38 and 10-of-14, was Exhibit A as evidence this was not a fair matchup.
Exhibit B: The team’s 77.3-percent shooting in the third quarter. Exhibit C was the team’s 115 points through three quarters, the most allowed by the Spurs in 20 seasons with Gregg Popovich as a the coach.
It was ugly and the Warriors loved it.
Hello, Hamptons 5
Once the most frightening quintet in the NBA, the Hamptons 5 have had some ups and downs this season. Not on this night. The group – Draymond Green, Andre Iguodala, Curry, Durant and Thompson – put the Spurs to sleep with an 11-0 burst late in the second quarter that raised a three-point lead to 14 at the half.
That burst took all of 88 seconds, during which they forced three turnovers. Good night, San Antonio.
File it under gratuitous production
For so much of Steve Kerr’s tenure as coach, the Warriors have used the third quarter to wipe deficits or simply rob opponents of their will. Though that tendency has faded lately, it was there in every way in this game. In addition to shooting 77.3 percent (the second-hottest quarter in the NBA this season), the Warriors recorded 16 assists while piling up 49 points.
This was the Warriors performing basketball euthanasia, without the compassion.
Cook is, um, not cooking
Because he is a poor defender, Quinn Cook’s path to playing time is down the avenue of offense. Clearly searching for his shot, Cook jacked 10 over the final 14 minutes. He made two. He missed all five of his 3-point attempts. He is now 4-of-29 beyond the arc over his last 13 games.
Cook has to score to offset what he gives up. He has spent much of this season well above 40-percent shooting from deep. He’s now at 38.3 percent, a solid number, but there is no sign of rediscovering his shot.
Durant’s exemplary game
Durant provided an early spark, with 15 points in the first eight minutes. But there was much more to his game than the scoring referenced above. He delivered in other significant ways, recording team highs in assists (nine, with zero turnovers), rebounds (eight) and steals (three). He played phenomenal game.
Durant’s emotions clearly are affected by the chatter surrounding his future. His game, however, is as smooth as ever.