In their second game without Stephen Curry, the Golden State Warriors won a nail-biter on the shoulders of Kevin Durant.
Kevin Durant – 36 points, 10 rebounds, seven assists, five blocks
Kevin Durant has enjoyed playing without Stephen Curry. In the two games, he’s scored 71 points, hauled in 21 boards and dished out 17 dimes. All while not adjusting his game in the slightest. In place of Curry, Draymond Green and Quinn Cook have operated as the point guards, giving Durant the space to work off screens and connect on jumpers with the smallest amount of airspace. Golden State hasn’t had to rely on many isolations, but Durant is still skilled enough to put his defender in a blender and create space for an uncontested Jimmy. On the heels of his all-around domination, Durant became the 10th player since 1964 to have 35 points, 10 boards, seven dimes and five blocks in a game.
Zach Randolph – 35 points, 13 rebounds
We were beyond lucky to see a performance from Zach Randolph where he went played like his young self. It was his highest scoring game since 2014, and he made five threes, which set a new career-high. Against DeMarcus Cousins, Randolph gave him a test of his own medicine. He bullied the New Orleans Pelicans all night long, harassing them on the backboards and using his robust frame to shield himself when putting up shots around the basket. Had Z-Bo not hopped in the time machine, the Sacramento Kings likely aren’t pulling out this victory. Outside of him, Buddy Hield (18) and De’Aaron Fox (14) were their leading scorers.
Kyrie Irving – 36 points (and one assist)
Somewhere, Kobe Byrant is smiling. Masked Kyrie Irving nearly took down the San Antonio Spurs on Friday by scoring 36 on 13-of-21 shooting. He made sure not to pass to anyone. It’s the second time in three games Irving’s limited himself to one dime. Instead, he focused his energy on fileting a depleted Spurs team who still mustered enough to pull out the 105-102 victory. Irving, however, made their lives miserable. He burned any defender Gregg Popovich threw at him, and his spectacular finishing ability was on full display. Additionally, he gave San Antonio their worst rainstorm this year by nailing six of his 10 triples. No one else has surpassed five. With that loss, the Celtics no longer have the NBA’s best record; Houston’s .826 winning percentage edges out Boston’s .815.
- LeBron James – 29 points, 10 rebounds, eight assists
- Khris Middleton – 31 points, three assists
- Wesley Matthews – 29 points, four rebounds
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