It has been seven months since game three of the 2017 NBA Finals but it feels like just yesterday. That fateful day when Kevin Durant willed the Warriors back from a late game deficit and made an unforgettable transition three over LeBron James to put the Warriors up for good.
Kevin Durant returned back to Quicken Loans arena where he once again put the team on his back and helped eliminate a seven point half time deficit to edge out the Cavaliers. The Warriors defeated the Cleveland Cavaliers 118 - 108 and Durant’s performance has earned him Warrior Wonder award for last night’s game.
Kevin Durant goes soaring for an emphatic slam
The first quarter was full of highlight real dunks in which Kevin Durant and LeBron James traded buckets off fast breaks. This one handed dunk was the most notable and got everyone out of their seats:
Five things to note from this play
- Dwyane Wade tries to make a play going to rim, realizing he has nothing he tries to throw an over the head pass to the top of the arc to LeBron. Normally, James can get this ball and reset the play but Durant has go-go gadget arms and can grab any ball from the sky. Wade throws the ball away and Durant snuffs it out.
- James realizes Wade has made a terrible mistake and so he enters into an all out sprint to get ahead of the play so he can adjust before Durant gets to the rim. Instead he purchases a front row seat to the Kevin Durant aerial exhibition.
The avid breakaway slam dunk enthusiast James is, he recognized Durant was charging with an anger and ready to destroy anything and everything in his path. For a split second LeBron James thought about everything that was important in his life. Once he flashed back to reality, he decided that it was in his best interest to stay out of Durant’s path of destruction. That’s what they call a “business decision.”
- As Durant emphatically finished off the dunk, either him or Draymond Green (hard to tell by the video) let out an equally forceful scream. It was as if they were exorcising any demons Durant had and releasing them into the Cleveland night sky. Cleveland is hell on earth.
- The bench celebrations, oh the bench celebrations! We have so much going on here. First, we have JaVale McGee getting out of his seat and walking away from the scene of the crime. He puts his head down and claps but cannot bear to see what carnage has been done.
Second, we have Jordan Bell standing up and stomping looking at his vet with pride as he knows that is exactly what he would have done if he had the opportunity to take on James one on one at the rim.
Finally, Kevon Looney arises from his seat in some sort of Frankenstein stomp. Kevin Durant’s dunk sent a thunderous boom through the arena that generated enough electricity to give life to young Frankenstein (aka Kevon Looney). That’s what we are calling him from now on.
- It’s got to be the shoes, right? LeBron probably got caught up marveling at Durant’s special Black History Month edition shoes as he took flight. I would too, this new colorway is pretty sweet.
The third quarter is Durant’s quarter
The Warriors were down seven points and the Cavaliers looked to be the aggressor headed into the half. However, the third quarter would be the quarter where the momentum would swing. Durant notched 16 points in the third going 4-7 from the field and helped swing a seven point deficit into a two point lead headed into the fourth quarter.
Durant knocks down a three that looks reminiscent of the 2017 Finals game three three-pointer. Or maybe all his three-pointers appear to look like that? In any case, it’s a beautiful shot.
Stat line: 32 points, 5 rebounds, 8 assists, 3 steals, 10/10 from free-throw line
Durant packed the box score and brought us another memorable play over LeBron James to help wash away the PTSD we all have from “the block”. Kevin Durant is tonight’s Warrior Wonder.
Klay Thompson - 17 points, 4 rebounds. Thompson was hot in the first quarter scoring 13 of his 17 points. It looked as though Klay was heading towards a big game, but he disappeared after the hot start.
Draymond Green - 11 points, 16 rebounds, 9 assists, 2 blocks. Although he was just 5-14 from the field, he was just an assist shy of triple double and logged a team high 38 minutes as well as +14 plus/minus.
Stephen Curry - 23 points, 4 rebounds, 8 assists, 2 steals. Curry had a couple of great moments in the game and maybe none more notable than his MONSTER two handed jam in the third quarter
Introducing a new segment called “Never Seen it!” pic.twitter.com/OLhRk6C59q— Stephen Curry (@StephenCurry30) January 16, 2018
Who was your Warrior Wonder for the win over the Cavaliers?
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