The Golden State Warriors bounced back from a historically bad Game 2 loss by delivering an emphatic 132-105 victory over the Los Angeles Clippers in Game 3.
Kevin Durant silenced his critics with a terrifying basketball tour-de-force, scoring 38 points and 7 assists with a game-high plus/minus of 32. Durant was 14-of-23 and there was nothing the notorious Patrick Beverley could do to defend him.
Durant’s first quarter stats: 8 minutes, 12 points, 5-of-5 FG, 2 assists, and 3 turnovers. He came out aggressive like it was an NBA Finals Game 3, let alone a first round match against a bottom seed. The referees came out aggressive as well.
Less than 8 minutes in, Curry and Durant are saddled with 2 fouls.— Monte Poole (@MontePooleNBCS) April 19, 2019
Thankfully Durant led a opening flurry that got the Warriors cooking early. The champs nailed eight straight shots at one point in the first quarter, punctuated by a preposterous side-step bomb from Steph Curry that nearly blacked out the electricity in the arena.
Steph just makes it look so easy. pic.twitter.com/evfukxS8M0— Warriors on NBCS (@NBCSWarriors) April 19, 2019
Or I guess that’s what happened, because there was a rather lengthy delay in the second quarter with clock issues in Staples Center. Come on, stop stalling, L.A.
When play returned, Durant and Klay Thompson took turns shoveling dirt on the Clippers grave. It dawned on me that the Warriors were completely focused on shutting up everybody who thinks they might be falling from grace.
Klay Thompson slams home a powerful dunk, shows as much emotion as we ever see from him, then receives a monstrous chest bump from KD. This team is amped up.— Golden State of Mind (@unstoppablebaby) April 19, 2019
With the Warriors up 62-44 and less than four minutes left in Q2, Stephen Curry picks up his third personal foul.— Connor Letourneau (@Con_Chron) April 19, 2019
Durant took over after Curry’s third foul with a cool calm, morphing into a 7-foot point forward to skewer the Clippers some more.
Zero made 3s in that dominant Kevin Durant scoring half: 10/12 on 2s, 7/8 on FTs, had 27 points in 17 minutes. Warriors up 21.— Anthony Slater (@anthonyVslater) April 19, 2019
The Warriors didn’t just flip the playoff switch. They ripped it out of the wall and smashed the Clippers with it.
at the break pic.twitter.com/zkV6OiTy4D— Golden State Warriors (@warriors) April 19, 2019
The third quarter was more of the same as the Warriors pushed the lead to 31. I’m sure for some of the more nervousy fans of Dub Nation, this was a panic inducing reminder that they blew a 31-point lead recently.
Meanwhile, I felt like justice was finally being served, as the Clippers were reminded of their place in the NBA hierarchy.
Andre putting the ‼️ on a 14-0 run— Golden State Warriors (@warriors) April 19, 2019
@NBCSAuthentic & @NBAonTNT pic.twitter.com/ySp5xL0dYD
The referees on the other hand seemed to be making it a point that the Warriors knew their place as well, dishing out an annoying fourth foul on Curry and a preposterous double tech on Jamychal Green and Durant.
Steph was heated on his way to the locker room after his 4th foul pic.twitter.com/qvBcoRqGcN— Warriors on NBCS (@NBCSWarriors) April 19, 2019
The Warriors decided maybe a 31 point lead wouldn’t be good enough, so they pushed their lead to 109-76 by the end of the third quarter.
This game is as over as over is. Clippers down 109-76 in a miserable showing— Clips Nation (@ClipsNationSBN) April 19, 2019
The fourth quarter was a clean finish, as the Dubs maintained full control of the Clippers. Jacob Evans got some time, and Golden State fans in the audience began a disrespectful “Waaaarrrrioooorrrsss” chant.
Andrew Bogut finished with 14 rebounds and 5 assists, and Draymond Green dished out 10 assists along with applying some electric defense.
The Dubs now take a 2-1 lead into Game 4. Beverley is definitely not the “KD Stopper” as was widely speculated.
But you know who Kevin Durant is.