Until yesterday morning it was not certain whether Draymond Green would be playing in New Orleans after the injury he sustained in the season opener.
Coming into the game, the Golden State Warriors were already tasked with a difficult match-up having to defend Anthony Davis & Demarcus Cousins. Regardless of whether Green played or not, someone had to step up on defense.
That man was KEVIN FREAKING DURANT
New Orleans is known to be a lively party city so Kevin Durant decided to throw a block party during his trip to the big easy.
Durant came ready to play. On this play: (1) Durant lost his shoe, (2) finished a layup with his left hand, (3) grabs his shoe and runs back on defense, (3) blocks Tony Allen, (4) blocks Tony Allen again, and (5) grabs the loose rebound.
That’s quite the sequence for a guy who lost his shoe and stuck with the play to make two huge plays on defense.
The Pelicans mounted an early lead with a 3-point scoring barrage, but Durant finished the second quarter strong.
.@KDTrey5 ending the first half in style on @NBCSAuthentic & @espn pic.twitter.com/PGpSJGPuAI— GoldenStateWarriors (@warriors) October 21, 2017
Down by nine points with less than 40 seconds remaining in the half, Durant finished with a pretty layup at the rim and gets an and-one for a three-point play. On the next possession, he squares up Anthony Davis at the top of the arc and hits a 3-pointer in his face to finish the half — Davis got a taste of his own medicine as he hit a three over Green to end the first quarter.
Durant brought his defensive game all night. Here were a couple of nasty rejections he swatted away over Jrue Holiday:
Kevin Durant brought his eraser to work today.— ESPN (@espn) October 21, 2017
Just ask Jrue Holiday. pic.twitter.com/uTwJyIAZEO
Jrue was just trying to get some buckets but Durant was not having it.
Cousins & Davis were having their way with the Warriors and proved to be unstoppable forces offensively. So Durant took it to the Pelicans guards.
Here is a great still of Holiday going up for what he thought was an easy lay-up. Little did he know that the Slim Reaper was lurking from the shadows ready to go full Dikembe Mutombo. Durant decided to put Holiday on the highlight reel by inviting him to the block party.
Durant finished the game with a career-high seven—yes SEVEN—blocks. After a sloppy eight turnover game in the opener, Durant turned in a superb effort to help notch the first victory of the season. Here is compilation of the Kevin Durant pre-Halloween Block party:
KD had SEVEN blocks tonight. ✋ pic.twitter.com/dntk0UfOyw— NBCS Warriors News (@NBCSWarriors) October 21, 2017
Durant finished the night with 22 pts, 7 rebs , 7 blocks and went 3-for-4 from the land of plenty (3-point line). The Warriors ended up wining 128-120 in a high scoring affair.
It’s games like this that make Kevin Durant so valuable and underappreciated. We know he’s one of the most prolific scorers of all-time but his defensive effort at times is spectacular and highly underappreciated.
Durant is the Warrior Wonder for tonight.
Klay Thompson put up an incredible game with 33 points including going 7-for-11 from three. Klay came up with big buckets when the Warriors needed it. On any other night, he would easily win Warriors Wonder but tonight Durant wins it for me.
Who was the Warrior Wonder vs the Pelicans?
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