Photo: Santiago Mejia / The Chronicle
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One of the biggest storylines of the Golden State Warriors’ opening round playoff series against the Los Angeles Clippers has been the individual battle between Kevin Durant and Patrick Beverley.
Beverley and Durant were both ejected from Game 1 after a verbal altercation, and Beverley continued to irritate Durant with aggressive defense in Game 2.
Unsurprisingly, Game 3 picked up right where Game 2 left off.
Not even a minute into the game, Beverley fouled Durant as soon as he caught the ball, then proceeded to guard him after the whistle and block a practice shot attempt.
On the Clippers’ next possession, Durant bumped into Beverley while the latter was attempting to set a screen. Durant was called for a foul, and Beverley pointed at the former MVP and strutted around the court, clearly pleased with his work.
Midway through the second quarter, Beverley was again called for a foul after overzealously pushing on Durant’s posterior. The point guard was legitimately surprised by the call, and decided to re-enact his defense on an official.
On Wednesday, Durant called Beverley a “pest” and said the Clippers are playing a “gimmick defense.”
“They’re playing a gimmick defense which has been working,” he said. “Top-locking everything on the perimeter, so guys are not even looking at the three-point line, they’re just forcing guys inside the three-point line. So for us, when I get the ball in my spots, I got a pest, Patrick Beverley, who is up underneath me, who I can definitely shoot over the top and score every time if it’s a one-on-one situation.”
Durant scored 27 points in the first half, and the Warriors led 73-52 going into the third quarter.
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This post was originally posted at https://www.sfgate.com/warriors/article/Kevin-Durant-Patrick-Beverley-Game-3-foul-fight-D-13779730.php.