Durant helps Warriors crush Clippers 132-105, lead playoff series 2-1
Golden State Warriors forward Kevin Durant (L) and Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green (R) slap hands as Golden State Warriors center Kevon Looney (top) looks on after a play during the NBA Western Conference Playoffs game three between the Los Angeles Clippers and the Golden State Warriors at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California, USA, Apr.18, 2019. EPA-EFE/ETIENNE LAURENT SHUTTERSTOCK OUT
Los Angeles Clippers forward Danilo Gallinari (R) passes off to Los Angeles Clippers center Ivica Zubac (L) as Golden State Warriors forward Kevin Durant (C) defends during the NBA Western Conference Playoffs game three between the Los Angeles Clippers and the Golden State Warriors at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California, USA, Apr.18, 2019. EPA-EFE/ETIENNE LAURENT SHUTTERSTOCK OUT
Los Angeles, USA, Apr 18 (efe-epa).- The Golden State Warriors' star forward Kevin Durant on Thursday scored a massive 38 points to help his team crush the Los Angeles Clippers 132-105 in Game 3 of their Western Conference first-round playoff series and take a 2-1 lead.
Durant, who had been a shadow of himself in Game 2 of the series, attempting only eight shots and fouling out, was aggressive from the word go on Thursday and scored 23 points in the first half alone, helping Warriors avenge their loss in the last game and regain homecourt advantage in the best-of-seven series.
He dominated throughout the match, finishing with 14-for-23 shooting from the field and 7-for-8 from the free throw line.
“I have been here for 12 years. I am 30. I don't need to show nobody nothin' at this point," Durant said after the game, having come under pressure after the his last performance.
Warriors coach Steve Kerr had said he wanted Durant shooting much more than the eight times he did in Game 2.
Asked about Kerr's comment earlier this week, Durant had replied, "I don't play like that. I'm Kevin Durant. You know who I am.”
He was ably supported by point guard Stephen Curry, who scored 21 points including four three-pointers and an efficient 7-for-11 shooting from the field.
The Warriors ended up building a 21-point lead by the end of half-time, with a score line of 72-52, and continued in the same vein in the second half.
Australian center Andrew Bogut, who started in the absence of the injured DeMarcus Cousins — ruled out of rest of the playoffs — impressed by scoring four points and contributing 14 rebounds, five assists and a block.
The Clippers, who had stunned two-time defending champions Warriors in Game 2 by mounting the biggest comeback in NBA playoffs history and overturning a 31-point deficit, were unable to repeat their performance.
Croatian rookie center Ivica Zubac scored the highest 18 points for Los Angeles apart from 15 rebounds, a steal and a block.
Reserve Lou Williams scored 16 points while Jamychal Green and Montrezl Harell scored 15 points each off the bench.
Game 4 of the series will be played at the same venue, the Staples Center in Los Angeles, on Sunday.