OAKLAND, Calif. — JaVale McGee has made a name for himself catching lob passes and reliably slamming them home to the pure delight of his teammates, and oh did those matter for the short-handed Golden State Warriors as they moved one win closer to another NBA championship.
The typically spot-on Splash Brothers weren’t hitting consistently. Kevin Durant wasn’t on the court at all, nor Shaun Livingston.
McGee shined on a night none of the usual stars found their steady shooting strokes and sparked Golden State off the bench with 15 points, and the Warriors beat the Portland Trail Blazers 110-81 in Game 2 of their first-round playoff series Wednesday night as Durant sat out injured.
"That’s my whole thing, I just try to be efficient out there," McGee said.
The backup big man made all seven of his field-goal attempts and delivered several more of his signature alley-oop dunks as Durant watched with a strained left calf he hurt in the playoff opener Sunday.
No one player can replace KD, so they all did collectively.
The Golden State Warriors didn’t replace Kevin Durant when he missed Game 2 against the Portland Trail Blazers on Wednesday. They didn’t need to. Instead of assigning him impact to a player, they chopped it up, passed it around and ended up with a dominant 30-point win without a single player even scoring 20 points.
Durant isn’t gone long — he could have played, but is sitting on the side of caution with a strained left calf. Of course, Durant was out for more than a month during the regular season, only returning with three games left on the schedule. To make certain he’s healthy, Golden State doesn’t need to risk playing him in the first round that they believed they could win handily without him. As it turned out, they could.
The high scorer in the 110-81 win was Stephen Curry, who scored 19 points on mediocre shooting — 6-of-18 from the field — but was a team best plus-32 during his time on the court. Other contributions came from all other: Klay Thompson with 16; JaVale McGee with 15 on 7-of-7 shooting; Andre Iguodala with six, but 10 rebounds and six assists; Draymond Green with six points, 12 rebounds, 10 assists and three blocks; and Ian Clark dropping 13. Read More Here