Warriors' Durant says Clippers running a 'gimmick defense' in playoff series



April 18 (UPI) — Golden State Warriors forward Kevin Durant is speaking out on what he says is a “gimmick defense” being run by the Los Angeles Clippers in their playoff series.

Durant and the Warriors are tied with the Clippers in their best-of-seven playoff series at one game apiece, with game three Thursday evening in Los Angeles.

The Warriors blew a historic 31-point lead in game two, suffering a 135-131 loss to tie the series.

Durant says that Clippers guard Patrick Beverley has been a “pest” in the first two games of the series.

“They’re playing a gimmick defense which has been working,” Durant said after Wednesday’s practice.

“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.”

Durant scored 21 points hitting five-of-eight field goals in the game two setback. The Clippers outscored Golden State 85-58 in the second half to pull off the stunning win.

The verbal sparring between Durant and Beverley started in game one, with each player earning a pair of double-technicals and an ejection late in the fourth quarter.

Durant promises he is not going to let Beverley bother him once game three tip-offs.

“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.

“I’m Kevin Durant. You know who I am. Y’all know who I am.”



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