42.7 points, 7.7 rebounds, 7.3 assists, and 1.3 blocks per game, on 65.3% true-shooting. That was what Kevin Durant averaged this week. If I told you that, and added in that Steph Curry returned for a game, would you believe me if I then said that the Golden State Warriors had a losing week?
Well, that’s exactly what happened. Kevin Durant was brilliant, and threw his name firmly in the MVP conversation. But beyond that, the team struggled, as they’ve done for much of the season.
Let’s look back on another difficult week for the Dubs.
Performance this week
Point differential: -6
Year to date
Offensive rating: 3rd (113.9)
Defensive rating: 18th (109.7)
Net rating: 6th (+4.3)
The week’s results
Game #22: Golden State Warriors 116, Orlando Magic 110
For most of this game, it looked like the Warriors would have a pretty bad loss. They trailed by 18 more than halfway through the third quarter, before using a furious rally to close the gap, and eventually take the lead. Kevin Durant was beyond dominant, and Klay Thompson had a classic Klay fourth quarter to secure the W.
Top performer: Kevin Durant - 49 points, 6 rebounds, 9 assists, 2 steals, 2 blocks, 16-33 FG, 4-10 3FG, 13-13 FT
Game #23: Toronto Raptors 131, Golden State Warriors 128 (OT)
What a game! In a potential NBA Finals preview, the Warriors and Raptors put on an absolute show, with one of the league’s best regular season games in recent memory. Kevin Durant went ballistic, with the shot of the season to tie the game and send it to overtime. Ultimately the Dubs fell short, but losing in overtime, on the road, to the team with the best record in the NBA, while down three All-Stars is as close as the defending champs can get to a moral victory.
Top performer: Kevin Durant - 51 points, 11 rebounds, 6 assists, 18-31 FG, 4-7 3FG, 11-12 FT
Game #24: Detroit Pistons 111, Golden State Warriors 102
The good news: Steph Curry came back! The bad news? Pretty much everything else.
Top performer: Kevin Durant - 28 points, 6 rebounds, 7 assists, 2 blocks, 9-19 FG, 9-9 FT
The week’s big stories
Damian Jones goes down
The Warriors were already a little thin at the center position. But they got a whole lot thinner when Damian Jones tore a pectoral muscle against the Pistons. He is likely out for the rest of the regular season.
Draymond still out
The Dubs lost one big man, and they didn’t even get another back. Golden State announced that Draymond Green, who has missed 11 games with a sprained toe, will be out for at least three more games. They’ll have to make do with a very shortened roster.
On the other hand...
Steph is back! And that is certainly worth celebrating.