Kevin Durant regrets decision to pass the ball early in closing seconds
Kevin Durant and the Golden State Warriors jumped on the Houston Rockets in the first quarter of Game 4. They stayed true to their explosive third-quarter selves. But the Rockets’ defense hounded them all game long, resulting in a 95-92 win for the visitors to even up the Western Conference Finals score.
Mike D’Antoni thought the Rockets’ defense saw its peak in this game and the same stifling treatment forced Durant to a critical decision in the closing seconds; a decision which he regrets.
With Houston leading by two and the game clock running out, Durant brought the ball down to initiate the Warriors’ offensive set that could potentially tie the game or give Golden State the victory if they convert on a 3-pointer. The Rockets amped up the defensive intensity on Durant, forcing him to give up the ball early which led to a tough and contested turnaround shot from Klay Thompson in the corner that missed its mark.
After the game, the reigning Finals MVP spoke to reporters and admitted that his decision to pass the ball early was an error on his part, per Ben Golliver of Sports Illustrated.
“I maybe should have waited until he set his feet… That’s not the reason why we lost the game… I definitely wish I could have that last play back.”
Durant had all the trust in the world coming from Steve Kerr that the two-time champion coach didn’t mind calling a timeout as his top guy went down the court, and rightfully so. Durant is the Warriors’ unfair weapon who’s virtually unguardable on single coverage. Unfortunately, the Rockets were quick to react and they forced an uncharacteristic error from a multi-titled veteran team such as Golden State.
Game 5 will be played in Houston as the Rockets head back to their turf, having reclaimed homecourt advantage.