Golden State Warriors Kevin Durant interacts with fans after scoring 49 points below 116-110 victory over Orlando Magic during the…
Photo: Scott Strazzante / The Chronicle
While meeting potential riders under a free agency, maybe Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson want to show video of Warriors 116-110 victory over magic on Monday at. Oracle Arena.
With Stephen Curry and Draymond Green, who were still injuries, Durant and Thompson survived an inspired performance from Orlando, despite the fact that they received minimal help from their supportive pitch. It reinforced why the team will offer the two big money in July to become a franchise.
Durant made a season high 49 points, five shy of his career high, to go with nine rebounds, two blocks and two stalks. Meanwhile, Thompson ended with 29 on the strength of five pointers and 19 points in the fourth quarter when the rallies rallied from an 18-point second quarter deficit for their third straight victory.
“Both were only in attack,” said Golden State Chief Steve Kerr. “They both know, especially with Steph, that they must be really aggressive, and they both were. They were amazing.”
When the warriors are healthy, Durant and Thompson are experienced in a basketball utopia, with several All Stars in their the main job in lockstep to win championship. However, most NBA teams – including many of those who can offer Durant and Thompson max contracts – often need to be dependent on a go-to player or two.
As a duo, Durant and Thompson have more combined talents than maybe the two best players from any other franchise. So much it was obvious Monday then, after both of them worked early, Durant and Thompson almost wanted the Golden State to win.
“It’s a big luxury we have (Durant) and Klay makes great shots down the stretch,” said Kevon Looney. “As a role guy we know that if we do our job at the defensive end and do all the little things, these guys will take us home.”
Two nights after winning 44 points in a victory over Kings, Durant shot 3-to-9 from the field in the first quarter, just to go 13 to 24 the rest of the road. With his team down 17 points in half-time, Durant was an aggressor and scored 16 points in the third to help trim the Golden State deficit to four at the start of fourth.
Thompson, who went 4-in-13 from the field through three quarters, finally began to settle in a rhythm during the fourth period. In just over six minutes he poured in 16 points. Thompson’s three pointers at 5:26 left the Golden State a lead of 102-100.
With less than two minutes left Durant wiped through two defenders, raised in a layup while they contacted and with a screw turned over, the subsequent free throw hit to put the warriors up 110-107. With about 22 seconds left Durant struck a wooden pointer from the top of the arc to give the Golden State a four-point pillow.
It was all Warriors would need one night, where the front office reminded of how much Durant and Thompson helped. Although most NBA teams would collapse with two All Stars pages, the Golden State blossomed like Curry (strained left lion) and Green (sprained right toe) watch from the bench.
That Durant and Thompson got some support Monday made their efforts just so much more important. Outside these two, warriors 38 points.
Judged by his smiles when the last summer sounded, Durant and Thompson carefully seemed willing to win their team. The question is whether they would appreciate that one has to give that kind of effort night in and out even for their law to be relevant.
“I still missed 17 shots,” Durant said, scanning the box points. “I feel I had some shots I wish I could have done, the last game and this game. You just have to get back to the gym.”