Kevin Durant napalmed the Los Angeles Clippers on Thursday night, dropping 27 points in the first half en route to a 38-point performance as the Golden State Warriors bounced back from their historic collapse to win Game 3.
Durant’s aggressive mindset was clear from the start, and he sliced the Clippers defense with a series of his signature mid-range daggers that are impossible to stop, since Durant is a 7-foot freak of nature.
After both Durant and the Warriors finished flexing their muscles, Durant expressed just how happy he was that finally, the chatter after the game was focused on his actual performance.
“This was the first time this season that my actual basketball play, and not about what I’m going to do in the future, took over the headlines,” Durant told Yahoo Sports after the win. “Think about that now. That hasn’t happened in a long time. I like that. That’s the way it should be.”
There’s some truth to Durant’s quote here, though most of the talk surrounding this Clippers-Warriors series has been about Durant’s curious lack of aggression and his back and forth with known gnat Patrick Beverley. But Durant’s performance on Thursday night was a reminder of just how breathtaking he can be to watch when he’s in his zone, and how devastating it can be for a defense when Durant is simply shooting over any defender that’s been thrown at him.
Durant desperately wants the questions about his looming free agency to fade into the background but should be smart enough by now to understand that’s never going to happen. If he keeps torching teams into oblivion for the duration of the playoffs, though, talk of his next destination will get put on the back-burner.