Kevin Durant needed to be wanted. He didn’t want to be needed.
He went to the bench with 6:48 to go in the first quarter of the Warriors’ Game 4 matchup on the road against the Jazz in the Western Conference semifinals Monday night, having not scored a single point. He wouldn’t re-enter the contest until the 9:23 mark of the second. It didn’t matter.
Durant would heat up before the half and go to the break as one of three Golden State players with 10 points at that juncture. The Warriors, the No. 1 overall seed in the playoffs, would go on to a 121-95 victory, their eighth-straight in the playoffs and 23rd in the last 24.
He’s been obviously great for the game of basketball, great for the NBA, great for the Spurs organization, Stephen Curry said. I want to see where that fountain of youth is so I can see if I can get a hold of that for the rest of my career.
Kevin Durant added that, despite turning 40 in July, Ginobili still enjoys the game.
You can just tell how much he loves the game of basketball, Durant said.
Should the Spurs lose and Ginobili decide to retire, he can look back on Game 3 of this series as one of his more startling performances. With Leonard, Tony Parker and David Lee out of the lineup, Ginobili scored 21 points, which was the second-most by a player his age in a conference finals game.