Warriors coach Steve Kerr wanted Kevin Durant to shoot more, and he sure got his wish. After Durant attempted just eight shots in the Warriors' horrific Game 2 loss to the Los Angeles Clippers, during which Golden State blew a playoff-record 31-point lead, Kerr said that he wouldn't mind if Durant took 20 or 30 shots in Game 3.
Well, Durant hoisted 15 in the first half on Thursday night, and the vast majority of them went in. Durant put up 27 points in the first half alone on 10-for-15 shooting, adding four assists and three rebounds as Golden State built a 73-52 halftime lead. The 27 points tied his highest-ever point total for a first half in his NBA playoff career.
With 27 first-half points, Kevin Durant has tied his highest scoring first half in a playoff game (previously done on April 27, 2013 at Houston). His high for any half in the postseason is 29 points.— Warriors PR (@WarriorsPR) April 19, 2019
Durant scored in pretty much every way imaginable (except he failed to make any of his three 3-point attempts), and was clearly looking for his own shot early and often.
This comes after many felt Clippers menace Patrick Beverley had gotten into Durant's head by getting him ejected in Game 1 and helping him foul out in Game 2. It appeared that Durant took the matchup personally, picking apart the Clippers defense at will on Thursday.
So why the change in approach? At halftime Durant said everything was the same, except for one key difference: "I just think coach drew more plays up for me."
With all the speculation about Durant possibly leaving the Warriors as a free agent this summer, there's no way his comments about Kerr will get misconstrued into some sort of clandestine message, right? Right?