NEWS OF THE MORNING
No. 1: Warriors find way to keep Durant under wraps — In Game 1 of the Western Conference finals, Oklahoma City Thunder star Kevin Durant finished with 26 points on 10-for-30 shooting. His shooting woes were more about him just plain missing shots than anything the Golden State Warriors threw at him defensively. In Game 2 of the series last night, Durant got his points (29) and had a solid shooting night in terms of raw numbers (11-for-18), but a third quarter stretch cut off OKC’s hopes of a win. Erik Horne of The Oklahoma has more on Durant’s Game 2:
Coming off a scorching 23-point first half, Kevin Durant hoisted his first shot attempt of the third quarter. The fadeaway jumper fell, a textbook Durant stroke.
It came halfway through the quarter. The Thunder trailed by double digits. It was far too late on a night when the turnover issues of Durant vs. Warriors past came back in full force in Golden State’s 118-91 win.
Still, it was Durant’s only made shot from the field in the third: a pull-up jumper at 6:22 that was sandwiched in between Stephen Curry’spersonal 14-point barrage. Durant had only two shot attempts in the entire third quarter in which the Thunder was outscored 31-19.
“They were sending three guys and I was trying to make the right pass,” Durant said. “I was turning the ball over, playing in a crowd.”
Durant finished with eight turnovers, upping his season average against the Warriors to 6.4 per game – his most against any opponent.
Thunder coach Billy Donovan said it wasn’t anything new. Durant’s seen the double and triple teams the Warriors threw at him. The swarming. The sneak attacks from a help defender as his back is turned.
Donovan wants Durant to be a willing passer, but he also wants better decisions from his star … and those around him. On Durant’s pass attempt to Roberson, Durant held the ball for seconds, probing and waiting for movement before trying to laser a pass between three players.
“… so maybe I’ve just gotta shoot over three people,” Durant said in postgame.
No, but Donovan wants better decisions from not just Durant, but the players around him.
“He’s got to do a better job, and we’ve got to do a better job creating open avenues and gaps for him to either pass it or drive it when teams elect to kind of send somebody at him,” Donovan said. “When he’s up there playmaking and they’re coming at him, obviously you’ve got to make those decisions very quickly.
“So I think Kevin watching the film will have a chance to get better from it.”