So the Golden State Warriors officially fell to second place after their loss last night to the Portland Blazers. And like those Kirkland brand vitamins I was forced to take as a teenager, that was kind of a bitter pill to swallow.
But let's put that aside for a moment and set our focus on what transpired on the court.
Acknowledging that this has been discussed ad nauseam here at Golden State of Mind, all over the internet and media at large, I find it still bares repeating just how amazing Kevin Durant is.
KD lit up the stat sheet against Portland.— Warriors on NBCS (@NBCSWarriors) February 15, 2018
50 PTS // 7 REB // 6 AST pic.twitter.com/zsTbfGNNnp
There won’t be many nights when Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson combine to go 12-of-32 from the field and get outscored by an opposing backcourt by 39 points.
However in those instances, there’s always solace to be had in knowing that there is still Durant, a man always on the verge of pouring in a monster game and in position to rescue this team — even if last night’s heroics came up a few points short.
He still ended up recording his career fifth game of 50 or more points last night — tying him with Curry’s and *cough* Russell Westbrook’s totals for 50-point games.
Durant also added 7 rebounds, 6 assists, and 2 more blocks.
Some might say it to be a hollow stat-line considering its futility in the face of a loss in both the game and the standings. But without Durant’s prolific scoring performance, this could have easily been another blowout loss.
Opening quarter shenanigans
The Warriors continued their slow-starting ways as they let the Blazers light up the scoreboard for 40 points.
Curry was an ice-cold 1-of-6 from the field for the quarter and the Splash Brothers duo only put up 6 points. Meanwhile Damian Lillard single-handedly destroyed the Dubs with 18 points of his own.
Durant’s counter-balance of 14 points at least kept the Dubs within striking distance.
Closing the gap
During the second half when the Dubs eventually took a lead, Durant was a vital cog to that run as he poured in 18 points in the third quarter and 12 more in the final stanza.
When the Blazers started to pull away late in the fourth, Durant became a one man show out of necessity as no one else from the Warriors could hit a shot.
Nick Young showed up instead of Swaggy P and just clanked wide open shots. Furthermore, it seemed like everything Curry put up was just destined to become a bunch of in-and-out teasers. The Warriors needed someone to play hero.
And without hesitation, Durant stepped up to fill that void admirably as he had a hand in every scoring play for the Dubs after the 5 minute mark (save for a pair of Curry free throws).
In one sequence, Durant almost single-handedly brought the team back to tie the game.
It began with him knocking down this fadeaway 3-point shot. Even with the referee interference.
Then he followed that up with this incredibly acrobatic layup (see below). A pair of free throws after a foul on the team’s next trip down the court would bring it to a single-possession game.
Durant lost his shoe and now has a cool 50 points! pic.twitter.com/pHeKnl0Fzu— Warriors on NBCS (@NBCSWarriors) February 15, 2018
Unfortunately, he would miss the tying shot on a great look he generated after juking Evan Turners out of orbit.
Durant also made this miraculous 3-pointer, but that would be overturned due to his foot stepping out on the out-of-bounds line.
IN or OUT?— Warriors on NBCS (@NBCSWarriors) February 15, 2018
Durant called out
Crucial moment in this game pic.twitter.com/JqU3Z7jlRn
Draymond Green‘s performance was worth noting and the Warrior Wonder really came down to either him or Durant for me. However ultimately, Durant was the only offensive answer we had for Lillard and CJ McCollum. And for that reason, I had to give him the nod.
Now it’s your turn, who was your Warriors Wonder for last night’s game?
Who was your Warrior Wonder against the Blazers?
This poll is closed