DimeMag

Kevin Durant’s Monster Night Was For Naught As The Raptors Took Down The Warriors


Getty Image

If we get seven NBA Finals games similar to the matchup that happened on Thursday night between the Toronto Raptors and the Golden State Warriors, basketball fans will be in for a treat. The best team in the Eastern Conference and the favorites to come out of the Western Conference squared off in Toronto in what might be the NBA’s game of the year to this point.

There was a major comeback. There was a superstar going off, only to get outshined by a different superstar, even if that first guy’s tea, came out on top. There were role player coming up huge. Drake was there. It really did have it all, and by the time the horn sounded in overtime, the Raptors defended their home court with a 131-128 victory.

Kawhi Leonard showed why Toronto made it a point to acquire him over the summer, as he was a superstar on both ends of the floor. He played his usual brand of smothering defense (remember this for when we get to the Kevin Durant section of our program) and mixed in some solid play on offense.

In all, Leonard scored a season-high 37 points on 14-for-24 shooting with eight rebounds, three assists, a steal, and a block in 44 minutes of action. He got some major (and super efficient) help from Pascal Siakam, who chipped in 26 points on 8-for-10 shooting, and Serge Ibaka, who scored 20 points and pulled down four rebounds.

The Warriors deserve some credit, as they came back down from 18 points to get to a position where they could win the game late. This happened despite the fact that Steph Curry is still out for one more game and Draymond Green was nowhere to be seen due to an injury of his own.

Golden State fought, though, led by an absolutely bonkers performance by Kevin Durant, who exceeded the 40-point mark for the third game in a row. Durant was out of his mind, even by the lofty standard set by a scorer of his caliber. He scored 51 points on an insane 18-for-31 shooting, with 11 rebounds and six assists in 43 minutes.

Durant went into the locker room with 20 points at the half, then came out in the third quarter and dropped another 18, including a shot from the logo at the end of the period that was as pure as a free throw.

With the game on the line, the Warriors turned to their star to force overtime, and despite the best defensive efforts of Leonard, it did not matter, because Durant was shooting fireballs out of his hands.

Beyond Durant, Klay Thompson had 23 points on the night, while Jonas Jerebko came up big, scoring 20 points and pulling down nine rebounds.

Should these teams meet up with a championship on the line, it will be a much different game, as the Warriors would expect to have its full arsenal of superstars and not only two of the five All-Stars they employ. Still, this game showed that the Raptors can take a whole lot of punches from Golden State and still come out on top, reminding everyone that they are, at least for now, the class of the Eastern Conference. At any rate, make sure your calendar is clear on Dec. 12, because that’s the night Toronto travels to Oakland.

×