Glance at Kevin Durant’s stat line — 14 points, 11 assists, five rebounds — from Sunday night, and nothing seems too out of the ordinary. The one anomaly: Durant shot the ball just six times, the fewest in a game in which he has played more than 11 minutes in his nine-year career. So, in a weird way, Sunday night was historic for Durant.
Even if Durant prides himself on always searching for the best shot, which is not always his own, it was still bizarre to see a four-time scoring champion take just six shots in 35 minutes played.
The Athletic‘s (and frequent KNBR guest host) Marcus Thompson asked Durant postgame about his abnormally low shot intake. Durant gave a half-serious, though lighthearted answer.
“I am a well-rounded player, and I can still affect the game without taking a bunch of shots,” Durant said. “I thought I passed the ball well. I thought I played a great floor game. I know you used to put me in a box as player, but I have grown.”
“Like, Marcus, like, you individually. Marcus Thompson, you are used to putting me in a box, so I had to let you know I am well-versed, well-rounded as a human.”
Durant was asked more about his performance Sunday and how he contributed to the win. The Warriors defeated the visiting Detroit Pistons, 121-114, one night after losing by 35 to the Dallas Mavericks. In that loss, Durant, who went 9-25 with 25 points, shot 12 times in the first quarter alone.
“We got a lot of scoring on the offensive side of the ball,” Durant said. “How many assists did we have? Thirty-one. That’s the formula for us. When I get the ball in the post, we usually have a lot of movement on the side, or if I get the ball in the pick and roll then I see somebody open, I got to pass them the ball.
“I didn’t want to force shots tonight. If some of the shots I would have took tonight would have been forced, and last game I forced a bunch. Just trying to help us get back in the game, so I tried to play a different game tonight. Is that a problem, Marcus? Anybody else? All right, bet.”
The next question, from ESPN’s Nick Friedell, touched on the improved focus Sunday night. The name-dropping continued.
“What do you think, Nick?” Durant said. “We got beat by 40, that’s the reason why. No matter what time of the year it is, you get beat by 40, you don’t want to get embarrassed like that again or just lose the next night. I think we came out with a nice sense of urgency.”