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Kevin Durant explains the Stephen Curry effect

Kevin Durant, Stephen Curry

It didn’t take long for the Stephen Curry effect to take place in Oracle Arena, entering the game with 4:20 left in the first quarter and drilling a wing 3-pointer within 11 seconds of his imminent return to the court.

Uncanny as ever, Curry proceeded to score eight points in his short first-quarter stint, finishing with 28 points in 27 minutes.

Teammate Kevin Durant noted the big difference of having a player of his caliber back in the court, now expected to start for Game 3 of the series in New Orleans.

 “On offense, it definitely picks the pace up for us. Defensively, I think we stick to the same principles,” said Durant, according to Mark Medina of the San Jose Mercury News. “When Steph is not out there, it’s not a lot of off-ball movement to space.”

“It’s obviously different not having him out there. But when he’s out there, he’s creating space with his movement off the ball and in the pick-and-roll.”

Curry’s return also provides Durant with a shooting partner for their well-storied shootouts in practice, repeatedly going up against one another during each session. Iron sharpening iron.

“It’s more sharpening each other man. It’s never a competition,” Durant said. “It’s just about going out there and trying to get better. That’s the most important thing.”

Durant’s edge of the blade has definitely proven sharper this season, building off last postseason and shooting 41.9 percent from deep, only a few percentage points below his career-best 42.2 percent during his second season in the league.