Warriors news: Kevin Durant blocks 6 shots in the first half vs. Kings
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Warriors’ Kevin Durant blocks 6 shots in the first half vs. Kings

Kevin Durant

Remember when Kevin Durant was garnering early consideration for 2018 Defensive Player of the Year? That discussion was always misplaced. The Golden State Warriors superstar is indeed an impactful defender, with the requisite combination of length, quickness, and strength to consistently hold up one-on-one against all but the most dynamic ball handlers and most hulking big men.

His ability to guard one through five without negative consequence is one of the more overlooked aspects of his game that makes him a perfect fit for Golden State.

Still, Durant takes possessions off far too often to be considered for hardware on that side of the basketball. His help defense, even when fully engaged, sometimes comes a step slower than is ideal, too.

In the first half of Thursday’s game against the Sacramento Kings, though, Durant looked every bit the part of a Defensive Player of the Year candidate, setting a career-high with six blocked shots before intermission. His career-high for an entire game is seven rejections.

His awesome defensive performance at the rim wasn’t enough for Golden State to slow down its in-state rival at Oracle Arena, however. Sacramento, despite going just 3-of-17 from beyond the arc, led the two-time defending champions 62-60 at halftime.

Will Durant and company do enough defensively in the second half to beat the Kings and sweep them in the season series? Stay tuned.