Kevin Durant Shined as Warriors beat Nets Without Stephen Curry
Kevin Durant scored 28 points and unheralded Quinn Cook delivered 27 as the defending champion Golden State Warriors rallied without injured star Stephen Curry to beat the Brooklyn Nets 116-100.
“I was trying the pick and roll, making great reads and trying to set great screens,” Durant said.
So when the Warriors lost the NBA’s best shooter (Stephen Curry, left groin), the league’s best defender (Draymond Green, right foot) and a dependable reserve (Shaun Livingston, right foot), the Warriors’ excellence did not become compromised.
Durant and Cook did not allow it to become that way.
Instead, the Warriors coasted to a 116-100 victory over the Brooklyn Nets on Saturday at Oracle Arena. Durant and Cook steered the engine.
Durant posted 28 points while shooting 9-of-15 shooting and 9-of-9 from the free-throw line in 31 minutes.
He added 11 assists and five rebounds. It represented the perfect blend the Warriors like from Durant without Curry’s brilliant shooting, gravity and playmaking.
Curry “doesn’t feel entitled or like he has to play. When his number is called he is able to go out there and produce.”
The Warriors were also without Draymond Green, but nine time all-star Durant carried the club on his back as they snapped Brooklyn’s three-game winning streak.
The Warriors’ star is expected to score, no matter who plays with him. So Kevin Durant always stays ready.
The Warriors’ reserve is expected to run the offense, no matter how erratic his minutes have become. So Quinn Cook always stays ready, too.
Durant had 13 points in the first quarter, scored the final six of the second as the Warriors stretched their lead to 20 in the third.
Cook made 18 starts a year ago while Curry was injured. He nailed his first seven shots Saturday and matched Durant with 19 points in the first half.
Cook described Durant is a special talent. “I want to be like him some day — a Hall of Famer.”