Kevin Durant Makes Statement Against Knicks amid Rumors


With Golden State star Kevin Durant likely to opt out of his contract at the end of the season and become a free agent, there will be speculation all season as to where he might end up.

One of the destinations that has popped up is Madison Square Garden, home of the New York Knicks.

Durant got a preview of what it’s like to play at MSG on Friday night as the Warriors made their one trip of the season to the World’s Most Famous Arena.

Golden State looked like the two-time defending champs as it won 128-100, and Durant played like someone very comfortable in his surroundings as he scored a game-high 41 points.

Despite one team being the Warriors and the other being, well, the Knicks, this was a competitive game until the final frame. New York had a six-point lead in the fourth quarter, but the Warriors remembered they were the Warriors and outscored the Knicks 47-16 in the last 12 minutes.

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Durant also saved his best for last as he poured in 25 points in the quarter, which is something that hasn’t been seen in the Garden in 20 years.

“You know when you catch every green light when you’re trying to get somewhere?” Durant said of his fourth-quarter performance. “That’s exactly what it feels like.”

The Knicks fans didn’t hide their love for Durant during the game or in the lead up to it. A couple of days before the Warriors visited New York, a billboard trying to recruit Durant to the Knicks went up outside of MSG.

When the pregame intros began, many of the Warriors received warm receptions — but the cheers for Durant were the loudest of the night.

After the game, Durant praised the atmosphere of the Garden and said he always loves playing there.

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“It was great,” he said. “It’s always great in here. The crowd’s always loud — they enjoy every play, no matter what team it is. If it’s good play, they’re cheering for it. That’s pure, I like that.”

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If it wasn’t for Durant’s performance igniting a Warriors’ fourth-quarter comeback, the story of the game might have been about someone who wasn’t even in the game.

Golden State’s DeMarcus Cousins was ejected in the first quarter from the bench for verbally sparring with the Knicks’ Enes Kanter. Normally two technical fouls lead to an ejection, but the refs issued just one to Cousins and that was enough to toss him since he wasn’t an active player.

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Ross Kelly has been a sportswriter since 2009.
Ross Kelly has been a sportswriter since 2009 and previously worked for ESPN, CBS and STATS Inc. A native of Louisiana, Ross now resides in Houston.
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