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Durant-Curry quickly join most devastating playoff duos

Kevin Durant and Stephen Curry have only been together for one playoff run, but the Golden State Warriors’ pairing appears ready to be considered among the NBA’s most impressive partnerships.

Magic Johnson and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar in the 1980s or Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal in the early 00s for the Los Angeles Lakers, and even 1990s Chicago’s tandem of Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen – these stellar pairings have nothing on Golden State’s dynamic duo.

Durant, a former NBA Most Valuable Player seeking his first title, and two-time MVP Curry, the 3-point sharpshooter who sparked Golden State’s 2015 crown to snap a 40-year drought, have put the Warriors on the brink of claiming this year’s throne. “Those guys have been unbelievable,” said Warriors guard Klay Thompson.

“They can make for a very scary duo for teams across the NBA because they’re both mismatch nightmares. They can get their shots off against anybody. And they’re coming together at the right time.”

Golden State rallied to beat defending champion Cleveland 118-113 Wednesday to seize a 3-0 lead in the best-of-seven NBA Finals.

The Warriors would become the first team to make an unbeaten playoff run to the crown by winning game four Saturday in Cleveland.

Durant was a star at Oklahoma City but left last July as a free agent to sign with the Warriors, smarting from a loss to Cleveland in last year’s NBA Finals when they were one win shy of a repeat crown.

Inside domination by Durant and the outside scoring threat of Curry have enabled both to flourish for most of the season, with unselfish teamwork and crisp passing punishing teams that focus too much on stopping one or the other.

“With Steph and K.D., you’re talking about guys who handle the ball, shoot from range, cut, who are kind of used to playing off the ball, so that transition was pretty smooth,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr said. -AFP

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