Durant praises Sexton ahead of tonight's game

Two-time NBA Finals MVP had nice things to say about the rookie

James Rapien
December 05, 2018 - 1:11 pm
Nov 28, 2018; Oklahoma City, OK, USA; Cleveland Cavaliers guard Collin Sexton (2) drives to the basket past Oklahoma City Thunder guard Russell Westbrook (0) during the second quarter at Chesapeake Energy Arena. Mandatory Credit: Rob Ferguson-USA TODAY Sp

© Rob Ferguson-USA TODAY Sports

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Cleveland, OH (92.3 The Fan) – The Cavaliers’ and Warriors’ rivalry may be over, but that doesn’t mean tonight’s matchup isn’t interesting.

Golden State is in town tonight for the first time since they swept the Cavaliers in the NBA Finals last June.

Cleveland is rebuilding and they’re hoping that first-round pick Collin Sexton be a big part of their future.

Sexton, 19, is averaging 14.5 points, 3.2 rebounds and 2.5 assists per game this season.

Kevin Durant wasn’t shy when asked about Sexton’s potential. 

“I saw him play Houston – he was going at Harden. He was trying to go at Kyrie. He was trying to go at every player,” Durant said. “You could tell he’s circling the big point guards and the big matchups on his calendar and he wants to show everybody who he is. So we’ll see who he is tonight. I’m looking forward to it, but he has a bright future.”

That’s glowing praise from one of the best basketball players in the world. Sexton has shown flashes this season, but he’s also a rookie who is trying to find his way in the NBA.

The rookie point guard has scored 10 or more points in 19-of-23 games, including all 13 of his starts.

Durant’s praise is also a reminder of how different things are. All great rivalries come to an end. The Cavaliers and Warriors faced each other in four-straight NBA Finals, 22-straight NBA Finals’ games and it was one wild ride.

“I’m always going to think of all the finals games we played in here whenever I walk into this building,” Kerr said earlier today. “That’s what I’m thinking of today. If I’m still coaching in 10 years, I’ll walk in here thinking about those games because it was a special rivalry, a historic one. Unbelievable basketball, incredible level of play – how could you ever forget about that?”

Other pregame notes:

Tristan Thompson has recorded three-straight double-doubles. He has 13 on the season, which is tied for 12th in the NBA.

Newcomer Alec Burks is averaging 13.7 points and 6.7 rebounds per game since joining the Cavaliers. He had the game-winning dunk with 3.2 seconds left in Monday’s 99-97 win over Brookyn.

The Cavaliers’ shot a season-best 95 percent (19-20) from the free-throw line on Monday.

Draymond Green won’t play tonight, as he continues to rehab from a left Achilles injury.