It comes as no surprise to me that Kevin Durant’s first recorded triple double would be against the Warriors. Absolutely zero surprise. In fact when Kevin Durant was close to getting a triple double a season ago with the Warriors (his final statline was 33-10-7) I said to myself: “No worries, he will get it next time he plays us.”
I was almost right. 10 days later Kevin Durant missed a triple double against the Warriors again, this time by 4 assists. But their next encounter (yesterday night) was the night of Kevin Durant’s first triple double. So I was really close to calling it. I was so close.
Because it’s so fun seeing people have career nights against the Warriors, I’ve decided to compile a list of the top 10 games against the Warriors in recent history.
10. Chuck Hayes, March 23rd, 2011
13 points, 14 rebounds, 11 assists
It takes a considerable amount of talent in this league to get a triple double. For most players, points are easy. Rebounds are increasingly difficult the shorter you are, and cumulating assists become harder the less you touch the ball on offense.
Here’s Chuck Hayes. In terms of pure scoring, he’s right at the bottom of the league, but probably a little better than fellows like Biyombo and Reggie Evans. He blows easy lay ups all the time. Then rebounds- at 6’6 Chuck Hayes finds a way. He’s always been a fantastic rebounder, but not necessarily the ‘volume’ rebounder or glass cleaner that guys like Dwight Howard and Kevin Love are. Regarding assist -this was one of those years when Hayes did a decently good job of finding cutters when he had position in the high or low post. But 11 assists? Come on guys.
9. Amar’e Stoudemire, April 8, 2005
44 points, 16 rebounds, 5 assists, 15/25 FG, 14/15 FT
This was one of those lost seasons for Golden State, but then again you can make that statement for just about any Warriors season in the last… 20 years or so. Athletic-prime Amar’e Stoudemire proved too much for Golden State’s formidable frontcourt of Adonal Foyle, Troy Murphy, Zarko Cabarkapa, and the great Andris Biedrins. However, behind Jason Richardson, Mike Dunleavy, and Mickael Pietrus’s 28 points each, the Warriors were able to survive against the Suns.
8. Gilbert Arenas, December 18th, 2009
45 points, 3 rebounds, 13 assists, 15-25 FG
This was Gilbert’s last 40+ point game, after a short, but spectacular prime as a rare successful shoot-first point guard.
This was another dark season in Warriors franchise history… The Corey Maggette/D-League call up season. I would say at least half the roster was less than a year or two out the D-League. We had Anthony Tolliver, Cartier Martin, Coby Karl, CJ Watson, Kelenna Azubuike, Anthony Morrow, Chris Hunter, Reggie Williams… Biedrins was pretty much a D-League player at that point.
7. Rodrigue Beaubois, March 27, 2010
40 points, 8 rebounds, 3 assists, 3 blocks, 9/11 3P, 15/22 FG
Who the fuck is Roh-dreeg Biu-boys!? A rookie Beaubois dismantled the Warriors in just under 30 minutes of action, and he now holds the great honor and record of “Least minutes needed to drop 40 points against the Warriors.” His 9 threes ties a record for most threes against the Warriors in a game. And all this damage was done by a rookie. A french rookie. Damn it.
6. Kevin Durant, January 31st, 2010
45 points, 13 rebounds, 16-21 FG, 11-11 FT
I have to say, these were some dark dark times for the Warriors. But it was so dark that it was almost entertaining. Who were the Warriors even using to guard Durant? Maggette? Tolliver? Coby Karl? Vladimir Radmanovic!?
The silver lining of this game for a Warriors fan? Nothing.
5. Kevin Love, February 27, 2011
37 points, 23 rebounds, 8-13 FG
If you are an NBA player and want to have a 30-point, 20-rebound game, look up the next time you play the Warriors.
This was during Kevin Love’s breakout season in the NBA, where he became the league’s most dominant rebounder since Dennis Rodman. He was so relevant that season that you could go have gone to an In-N-Out drive-through, asked for a Kevin Love Animal Style with extra pickles, and receive a Double-Double Animal Style with extra pickles.
Biedrins had pretty much stopped caring about basketball at this point in time, as he watched Kevin Love take every rebound he should have gotten. Come on Andris.
4. Dirk Nowitzki, March 23rd, 2006
51 points, 9 rebounds, 5 assists, 16/24 FG, 3/4 3P, 16/17 FT
It gets better than a 37-23? Depending on how you want to evaluate statlines, yes. Dirk Nowitzki drops 51 on the frontline of Dunleavy, Murphy, Foyle, Biedrins, and Diogu. Those really were some miserable days. For some weird reason Dirk’s 51 point game was not enough to give the Mavericks the win, and that weird reason was one of my favorite gamewinners of all time.
Look at Mark Cuban’s face at 1:30. Look at it.
3. Dwight Howard, January 12, 2012
45 points, 23 rebounds, 3 assists, 4 steals, 2 blocks, 12-21 FG, 21-39 FT
39 free throw attempts? Are you fucking kidding me?
This was a weird game. Dwight Howard touches the ball? Foul. Except even with all the fouls, Dwight Howard still got up 21 field goal attempts. The weirder part is that the Warriors only lost by 8, and that was only because they blew the fourth quarter.
David Lee fouled out, Andris Biedrins fouled out (probably his favorite game to play that season), Klay Thompson and Ekpe Udoh each had 5 fouls each. Other than the Warriors were just playing lame basketball. Watching Dwight Howard shoot 39 free throws is something no NBA fan should ever have to go through. Imagine if Dwight Howard was a good free throw shooter too… This could have been a 60 point game!
2. David Lee, April 2nd, 2010
37 points, 20 rebounds, 10 assists, 14-24 FG
In the modern history of the league (so disregarding weird Wilt Chamberlain stats), there have only been three games played by three players where a 30/20/10 happened. One of them was Magic Johnson’s 30 point, 11 rebound, 20 assist performance. The other was Hakeem Olajuwon’s 32 point, 25 rebound, 10 block performance. And the third… David Lee against the Warriors.
It’s hard to decide if the Warriors are more pathetic for letting such a game happen, or if the Knicks are more pathetic for losing a game with such a performance. Either way, a performance of this caliber doesn’t happen very often, and probably should have been #1 if the Knicks got the win. But the Knicks didn’t win, so the top performance against the Warriors in recent history has to belong to…
1. Brandon Jennings, November 14th, 2009
55 points, 5 rebounds, 5 assists
I will remember this game like I will remember the name of my first girlfriend in elementary school. I was a huge fan of Brandon Jennings coming into the draft. Who decides to skip college and play professional ball in Europe? What a fucking badass.
Jennings went for 55 points, while not scoring a single point in the first quarter. He kept the Bucks in the game for the rest of the first half and eventually took the lead in the middle of the third. Brandon Jennings reached a god mode, and just about every shot was going in. The Bucks stadium (whatever it is called) was creaming over every basket he scored. Jennings drilled quick 3s from outside and attacked the Warriors ‘defense’ in any way possible.
The Warriors regained the lead in the final period, and Jennings made sure the game belonged to the Bucks. He also tied the Bucks’ single game scoring record (held by Kareem) with style, by nailing a free throw to put the Bucks up 4 and effectively put the Warriors out of the game. Fantastic performance from Jennings, and certainly the best game by an NBA player against the Warriors in recent history. Bravo Brandon, bravo.
And just for your convenience, here is the video.