NEW YORK (AP) — If this is what Kevin Durant can do at Madison Square Garden, no wonder Knicks fans are so desperate for him to come to New York.
This kind of show was worth seeing more than once a season.
Durant scored 25 of his 41 points in Golden State’s ruthless fourth-quarter clinic, and the Warriors beat the Knicks 128-100 on Friday night.
Durant was the center of attention leading into the game and then the star of it in front of fans who hope he will consider the Knicks if he becomes a free agent this summer.
He’s not interested in the off-the-court stuff right now, but he loved what happened on the floor in his 10-for-13 final quarter.
“It feels like when you catch every green light when you’re going somewhere,” Durant said.
New York led by three after three quarters before Durant and the Warriors starting hitting from all over the floor, making 19 of 26 shots – and things went so well that on a rare long-range miss by Durant, the ball bounced all the way out behind the arc to a wide-open Stephen Curry, who made the 3-pointer.
Asked what changed in the fourth quarter, when Golden State outscored New York 47-16, Knicks coach David Fizdale said: “Kevin Durant.”
Curry added 29 points and six 3-pointers, giving him at least five in every game this season. But on the floor where he scored a career-best 54 points in 2013, his performance seemed almost quiet because of Durant.
He finished 17 of 24 from the floor, including 5 of 9 from behind the arc – where one of the misses was a one-legged attempt.
Tim Hardaway Jr. scored 24 points for the Knicks, who have dropped five in a row after a season-opening victory over Atlanta.
But it was quickly wiped out mostly by Curry, who made his first five shots, with three of them behind the arc.
Durant drew plenty of notice upon his arrival and a loud ovation when he was announced with the starting lineups. He can become a free agent after this season and Knicks fans hope he can speed up their rebuilding. A billboard urging him to come to New York popped up on a building near Madison Square Garden this week.
Curry said it’s not a distraction, saying the Warriors have faced greater concerns during their run of three championships in the last four years.
“The way he’s handled it, obviously letting his play speak for itself and not getting too wrapped up or involved in it, understanding we’ve got seven more months of this,” Curry said. “So we know how to keep distractions out of our locker room and just play basketball and enjoy what we do.”