“I don’t believe in it’s just going to be over when it’s over,” Durant said. “In the NBA, I don’t believe in the fairy tales or the emotions that come into this. It’s not going to just be over unless we go out there and impose our will on the basketball court like we did tonight. And it’s not going to just happen for us tomorrow. We got to play with that same passion and energy that we played with tonight.
“So I never really believe that ‘it’s just going to happen. We’re going to win a game eventually.’ We got to go out there and play, and I think we’ve been trying obviously the last five games, but we haven’t come out on top. I think tonight we put together a full game and that’s what we’re going to need going forward. It’s not going to just happen for us. We got to make it happen.”
Durant did his part Friday night, almost recording a triple-double with 32 points, 8 rebounds and 7 assists. After a two-week stretch that Steve Kerr recently called the toughest regular-season stretch of his tenure, one which included injuries to Stephen Curry (groin) and Draymond Green (toe) and a verbal altercation last week in Los Angeles between Durant and Green which shook the team and led to Green being suspended a game for “conduct detrimental to the team,” the Warriors were happy to walk out of Oracle Arena with a victory.
“We just looked like ourselves,” Kerr said. “The activity level on both ends. You tend to block more shots when you’re actually helping and rotating and flying around to the ball. And you make more steals, we had 11 of those, so it was just a really good night. And Portland’s been on a tough schedule too coming back from Milwaukee on a long trip. Those are never easy games to play, so I thought we had the edge energywise, and we were obviously a little hungry after four straight losses.”
The 11 blocks were a season-high, two of which came from second-year reserve Jordan Bell. After the game, both coaches and teammates praised the effort level that the Oregon alum provided during his 21 minutes off the bench.
“It just showed how hungry we were to win this game,” Warriors All-Star swingman Klay Thompson said after scoring 31 points. “Trust me, we’ve been frustrated these last four games. Hearing it from you guys, hearing it from the fans, it’s hard but it’s a long season. So you saw it in our energy tonight how badly we wanted to win. That’s a perfect example of it, Jordan’s hustle on both ends of the floor was amazing.”
The Warriors are back on the court Saturday when they face the Sacramento Kings.