“He is 7 feet and falling away. He’s one of the best scorers ever, right? So I thought he was extremely good. But we can withstand that,” Rockets coach Mike D’Antoni said after the game (h/t ESPN).
“We can’t withstand turning the ball over, missing layups, them getting out. Klay Thompson got up 15 [3-pointers]. We can’t give him 15 3s. We’re switching everything and staying off for that reason, so we have to clean up some stuff and see if we can do it on Wednesday.”
Durant will again be the focus of the Warriors offensive attack when the two teams take the court again for Game 2 on Wednesday.
“We want to keep the ball moving, but obviously Kevin is the ultimate luxury because a play can break down and you just throw him the ball,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr said.
“He can get you a bucket as well as anybody on Earth. This is why anybody would want him on their team. You think about a couple years ago, and we’re in the Finals and we couldn’t quite get over the hump. Kevin is the guy that puts you over the hump. I don’t know what you do to guard him. He can get any shot he wants.”
Durant admits he was just taking what the Rockets’ defense gave him during the Game 1 victory.
“I was just taking what the defense gives me,” Durant said. “Just trying to be aggressive when I had the ball and forceful when I had the ball. [There are] some shots that I wish I could have back. There was a floater that I shot, I want to say the fourth or third, that was short. I hate shooting shots like that. I miss them early, and I felt they were good shots.”
Despite the strong performance, Durant believes that the Warriors can only get better.
“I don’t know if we’re at our peak,” Durant said. “I think we could be better. I mean, the stakes are high. We’re playing the Western Conference finals against the best team in the league, the No. 1 seed, an MVP on their team. So I think everybody just wants to enjoy this time. Not a lot of people get this opportunity, so we want to take advantage of it.”
Warriors’ Damian Jones Undergoes Pectoral Surgery
Per the announcement, Jones will be out indefinitely, and if he does end up missing the rest of the season Golden State could apply for a disabled player exception although it wouldn’t be a financial rewarding route.
Jones has chipped in 5.4 ppg and 3.1 rpg for the Warriors this season.
Warriors Expected to Pick Up Damian Jones’ Option
By executing the move, Golden State would add $2,305,057 in guaranteed money to the books for 2019-2020, and will increase the projected tax bill, boosting them well over the luxury tax threshold if the team brings back superstars Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson, who are both pending free agents.
Jones has performed well during his time on the court this season, averaging 6.0 PPG, 2.4 RPG, and 1.4 BPG in 8 games, all starts.
Warriors’ Klay Thompson Discusses Big Night
Golden State Warriors star Klay Thompson broke out of his early season slump in a major way on Monday night, by draining 14 treys en route to 52 points in 26 minutes , breaking the NBA record set by his teammate Steph Curry.
“I just knew I was due for a big night,” Thompson said, according to ESPN’s Nick Friedell. “I just knew it.”
“It’s the best feeling,” Thompson said of his locked in shooting performance “Something I haven’t felt in the first six, seven games. To snap out of a slump with the record, I couldn’t ask for a better way to do it. And I’m just going to continue this momentum on Wednesday, and it’s one of the best feelings in basketball when you touch the ball and feel like it’s going in every time.”
Thompson credited his teammates, and the system they play in, for being able to accomplish the feat.
“I really believe, I don’t know if I would have been able to break the records I have got in my past, just like tonight, without the system I play in or the team I’m with or the guys I play with,” Thompson said. “Because they knew even before I went out for the second half. Steph looked at the box score and said, ‘Go get it.’ And that just shows you the unselfishness that is within him. Same with KD and Draymond and DJ and everyone else that was out there on the floor trying to find me and get me good looks.”
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