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Kevin Durant denies any malice from LaMarcus Aldridge in closeout video

LaMarcus Aldridge, Kevin Durant
Marcio Jose Sanchez/The Associated Press

Kevin Durant denied any ill intent after being asked about San Antonio Spurs forward LaMarcus Aldridge sliding under his landing zone in an attempt to close out a deep-range jump shot.

Much had been made of Aldridge trying to even out the odds against the Golden State Warriors by taking out one of their best players in Durant, but the 2014 MVP wasn’t buying what the media was selling, rather, defending the big man’s reputation and explaining the reasoning behind it all.

“Bigs are not used to being out on the perimeter and guarding guys on the perimeter,” Durant said in the post-game press conference. “Their whole thing is giving you space so when you pull up they just contest. It’s just part of the game. Been happening forever since I’ve been in the league. I think bigs just try to contest shots and sometimes that stuff may happen but it’s not on purpose at all.

“You know LaMarcus, he’s a stand up guy. He just plays the game the right way. It wasn’t anything more than that. It’s just a big out on the perimeter.”

In the video, Aldridge doesn’t take a running start as Zaza Pachulia did in Game 1, but inches his way under Durant’s feet as he half-heartedly puts a hand up to contest the shot, making it look like his main attempt was to go tit-for-tat with the Warriors before the series shifts back to the AT&T Center.

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