Kevin Durant may be a thin-skinned, easily-riled mercenary with all the moral courage of a toddler threatened with having his screen time taken away, but there aren’t many better players in the league when they’re in full-on Eff You Mode.
Durant had 12 points in the first quarter, finished with 38 points on 14-of-23 shooting including 11-of-13 on his two-point shots, posted a game-best plus-32, and led the Golden State Warriors back to control of their first-round series with the Los Angeles Clippers with a 132-105 win.
Some games merit deep dives and deeper analysis. Durant and Stephen Curry (21 points, 4-of-6 3PT, 13 first-quarter points) going bonkers on an 8 seed is just the Clips getting drubbed by the Dubs.
If Golden State hadn’t blown an epic 31-point lead, we’d be talking about a sweep. As it stands, we’ll wipe the outlier and say no way in heaven, earth, or hell this one’s going past five.
Durant also has three technical fouls in three games; Heel Mode Unlocked.
Man of the match? Oh, you know it.
Game 4: Sunday (4/21), 3:30pm/et, ABC pic.twitter.com/VuC9ONdWV9
— NBA (@NBA) April 19, 2019
Home Court Advantage
San Antonio and Denver have thus far demonstrated that a series doesn’t start until the road team takes a game.
And when the Spurs took Game 1, this series was over. San Antonio in 6. Thank you for playing, Nuggets.
The teams were a combined 66-16 in the regular season from home, and after the Nuggs grabbed Game 2, San Antonio went back to the wide open skies of Texas and dropped a 118-108 final on a visiting Denver team that looks an awful lot like the lower seed in a 2-7 matchup.
Derrick White had 26 points in the first half and 36 in the game, posting a game-high plus-30 along the way.
DeMar DeRozan helped break open a close game with 25 overall and 19 in the third quarter.
And LaMarcus Aldridge had an as-you-do double-double, scoring 18 points and grabbing 11 rebounds.
Plus, the sniper rifles were out for a San Antonio squad that hit 7-of-18 (38.9 percent) from three.
Denver shot 51.9 percent from the field, 51.7 percent from three, and 52.9 percent from the line, which is impressive statistical symmetry.
But wait, how do you hit half your shots and outscore your opponent by 24 from beyond the arc and lose by double digits?
Turnovers (13-6), missed free throws (DEN 9-17, SAS 23-32), and rebounds (45-37), that’s how.
Highlights? Yeah, we’ve got some of those.
What. A. Game.
Highlights 🎥 pic.twitter.com/vnWKFw54y5
— San Antonio Spurs (@spurs) April 19, 2019
Someone really needs to tell Brooklyn Nets coach Kenny Atkinson that you’re supposed to shorten your bench and tighten your rotations in the playoffs.
Philadelphia had 61 non-garbage-time minutes played below the sixth man level.
Brooklyn’s non-garbage-time reserves played a combined 108 minutes.
No wonder Philly ran them off the floor 131-115 even without Joel Embiid. That’s just Brett Brown outcoaching Atkinson.
Ben Simmons had 31 points on one fewer airballed three-point attempt than Jared Dudley (and 11-of-13 shooting overall), Tobias Harris had 29, J.J. Redick had 26, and HERO OF SERBIA Boban Marjanovic had 14 off the bench in 18 minutes to go with eight rebounds and six fouls.
Besides giving their bench players too many minutes, the Nets also lost this one by stinking out the joint shooting.
The Nets overall shot 8-of-39 (20,5 percent) from three.
And oh by the way, they got smoked on the boards 54-43 and assisted on just 12 (!) of their 39 made baskets.
No Embiid meant better spacing for Simmons in the middle, and that’s something else the Sixers are going to have to figure out, but for now, they beat an overmatched opponent on the road.
Man of the match going off:
— Philadelphia 76ers (@sixers) April 19, 2019
The weekend is coming, and so are two more Breakfast Specials on Saturday and Sunday because PLAYOFFS BABY
Stay tuned, and thanks for reading!