OAKLAND, Calif. -- As Kevin Durant gets set for Game 3 against the Los Angeles Clippers, the Golden State Warriors superstar is confident that Clippers guard Patrick Beverley isn't going to cause him to get out of rhythm.
"I'm not gonna get in the way of the game because I wanna have a little back-and-forth with Patrick Beverley," Durant said after Wednesday's practice. "I'm Kevin Durant. You know who I am. Y'all know who I am."
Durant and Beverley's verbal back-and-forth throughout Game 1 earned both players a pair of double-technicals and an ejection late in the fourth quarter. Durant was frustrated that the exchange overshadowed a Warriors victory.
After a 31-point meltdown in the second half of Game 2, a game in which Durant took just eight shots, the Warriors forward remains confident that he will find his rhythm quickly heading into Game 3.
"They're playing a gimmick defense which has been working," Durant said. "Top-locking everything on the perimeter, so guys are not even looking at the 3-point line, they're just forcing guys inside the 3-point line. So for us, when I get the ball in my spots, I got a pest, Patrick Beverley, who is up underneath me -- who I can definitely shoot over the top and score every time if it's a one-on-one situation.
"But we got a guy that's dropping and helping, and then we got another guy that's just sitting on me, waiting for me to dribble the basketball. If I put the basketball on the floor, I can probably make 43 percent of my shots if I shoot 'em like that. But that's not really gonna do nothing for us with the outcome of the game, 'cause we got a nice flow, everybody's touching the rock, everybody's shooting and scoring."
For his part, Warriors coach Steve Kerr is hopeful that Durant will be even more aggressive from the start of Game 3 on Thursday.
"The guy's the most skilled basketball player on the planet Earth," Kerr said. "There's nobody, there's nobody who can do what he can do. It's the playoffs; defenses are more locked in, they play everybody tougher. I don't know how many shots he got the other night -- seven, eight -- absolutely he needs to be more aggressive. It's the playoffs and he can get any shot he wants any time. So I want to see him get 20 shots -- 30."
Durant brushed off the idea that he needed to force the action, but he was buoyed by the notion that he could do whatever he needed to do to get the Warriors back on track.
"I'm not going to go out there and just shoot 20 or 30 shots," Durant said. "I don't play like that. When we were up 30 points I had five shots, everybody's shots were kind of evenly distributed around that time when we were up 30. So me taking two more shots after that wasn't the reason why we lost."
"Give him credit," Bogut said of Beverley. "He's not the most skilled guy in the world, he's not the best shooter in the world, but the dude's grinded out an NBA career. He started out in Europe. I can't hate on him that much. He's fighting for his livelihood and that's the way he plays.
"His effect on the game a lot of times is more mental than physical. He's always trying to get into KD's head and Klay's head and Steph's head, holding, grabbing, flopping, whatever he does. I can't hate on it because that's his role. He's doing a tremendous job for that team. They seem to respond well when he does those kinds of things. They made their run with him off the court, too, so that's another thing we got to look at."