It wasnt pretty. It took more than four quarters. But the Warriors managed to extend their win streak to nine games with an overtime victory against the Los Angeles Lakers.
On a night where the Lakers honored Kobe Bryant by retiring both of his jersey numbers, Kevin Durant, much like Bryant used to do, just kept shooting. 29 shots were hoisted by Durant on the night, a lot of them missed, but he started knocking them down when it mattered most to end up with 36 points in a 116-114 victory.
Here are the some of the highlights from Monday nights madness:
Things could not have gone any worse for Durant early on. He missed his first seven shots before hitting a three near the end of the first quarter, went 3 for 11 in the first half and was just 4 for 20 heading into the fourth quarter. To make things worse, Durant was on the receiving end of a posterizing dunk from Larry Nance Jr that is sure to make the highlight reels and become strong ammunition for Durant critics all over the internet.
BELL SHOWS NO MERCY
Warriors rookie Jordan Bell continued to show why hes worthy of more minutes. Contributing 10 points on offense, Bell also had four blocks, including a nasty one on Brandon Ingram that saw him stand over the Lakers forward and talk a little trash afterward.
BENCH PICKS UP THE SLACK
With an off-night from Klay Thompson making Durants early struggles even more worrisome, the Warriors got multiple key contributions from their bench to keep them in the game long enough for Durants eventual eruption. Omri Casspi led the second unit with 14 points. Nick Young scored 10, including a couple of big three-pointers, and Andre Iguodala dropped in nine points.
As a whole, the bench converted 20 of 39 from the field for 47 points with 31 rebounds and a plus/minus of +52.
DURANT HEATS UP LATE
Maybe it was Kobes presence at the Staples Center that caused Durants shooting woes. Once the Black Mamba left before the start of overtime, Durant never missed again.
Durant was a perfect 4 for 4 from the field to score 12 of the Warriors 14 points in overtime. With the game tied, Durant took Lonzo Ball one-on-one and crossed him over to hit the dagger from the top of the key with 6.4 second remaining. Ball drove down the court looking to force a second overtime, but a last-second layup was blocked by David West to end the game.
An overtime victory in Los Angeles kept the current win streak alive that originally began with an overtime victory in Los Angeles. Both games in LA have been thrillers, but with Stephen Curry watching from home for this one, even he couldnt handle it.
ALL LOVE FOR KOBE
The Warriors emerged from the locker room a little earlier than usual to take in Kobes speech during the halftime ceremony for the Laker legend.