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Warrior Wonder: Kevin Durant’s return almost gets the job done against the Spurs

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Despite a return to action after a week layoff, Kevin Durant still managed to smoothly assassinate from the midrange. Unfortunately he was upended by a bout of foul trouble.

NBA: Golden State Warriors at San Antonio Spurs Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports

In their losing effort against the San Antonio Spurs, shooting woes among the stars ended up being the Warrior’s largest Achilles heel.

It’s a rare day when both Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson combine to miss twenty-nine shots — but like a California rainfall, they do come every now and then.

The Splash Bro’s did manage to find a temporary spark in the second half, but it was none other than Kevin Durant who kept the team within striking distance while his cohorts were still trying to find a rhythm.

Freshly back from his week-long absence while healing a tweaked ankle, Durant wasted no time in showing how little rust had set in.

Kevin Durant’s shot chart
KD killing it from within the arc
NBA.com

Somewhere in between the Spurs beginning to break away in the second quarter and Curry finally sparking a 14-3 run late in the third, Durant efficiently and masterfully stroked in shots to keep the Warriors within striking distance.

If it weren’t for his foul trouble, there might have even been a different outcome in this game. The fourth foul he picked up came in the third quarter, just after the highlight above, where Durant looked like he was beginning to slide into one of his deadly rhythms.

Instead he found himself parked on the bench until the fourth quarter, where he was unable to replicate his mid-range shooting success to beyond the arc.

If there was any ding on the Durant from last night’s game, it was a lack of engagement on defense which ultimately tied into his inability to avoid the whistle amidst some poor decisions on that end of the floor.

Here he loses track of Marco Bellini before fouling him for a four-point play that pushed the Spurs lead back up to nine midway through the fourth.

But Durant was hardly the only Warrior at fault last night, and this was only the second time this season and sixth time overall that Durant has tallied five or more fouls while wearing a Warriors jersey — an occurrence even more rare than a pair of cold Splash Brothers.

Plus, who knows how bad this might’ve looked without Durant considering San Antonio’s own crew of midrange assassins in DeMar DeRozan, LaMarcus Aldridge, and Rudy Gay decided to all show out.

For this reason, Durant is my Warrior Wonder.

Poll

Who is your Warrior Wonder in the loss against the Spurs?

This poll is closed

  • 34%
    Kevin Durant
    (25 votes)
  • 18%
    Stephen Curry
    (13 votes)
  • 2%
    Klay Thompson
    (2 votes)
  • 1%
    Draymond Green
    (1 vote)
  • 31%
    Andrew Bogut
    (23 votes)
  • 2%
    Kevon Looney
    (2 votes)
  • 1%
    Alfonzo McKinnie
    (1 vote)
  • 2%
    Shaun Livingston
    (2 votes)
  • 1%
    Quinn Cook
    (1 vote)
  • 2%
    Jordan Bell
    (2 votes)
72 votes total Vote Now