Kevin Durant enters the ‘lab' with Steve Nash to fix wayward jump shot


OAKLAND -- Kevin Durant went through his usual post-practice routine Tuesday, which is to say there was intensity and focus and a lot of jump shots dropping through the net.

There was a moment, however, when Durant’s shooting session at Rakuten Performance Center was halted.

NBA Hall of Famer Steve Nash, the Warriors’ player development consultant, saw something and pointed it out to Durant, who appeared fully engaged.

After a few words with Nash, Durant went back to work. He drained his next three shots, each barely rippling the net, from different spots on the floor.

This session, under the observation of assistant coach Bruce Fraser and Nash, is what Durant refers to as “getting into the lab.”

The lab is exactly where he needs to be after spending the last five games struggling with shots he usually makes as a matter of habit. The Warriors lost four of those games.

Durant over the last five games -- beginning with his Nov. 12 blowup with Draymond Green late in the Warriors-Clippers game in Los Angeles -- shot 39.6 percent from the field, including 14.3 percent beyond the arc.

These are not Durant numbers. He has shot above 50 percent in each of the last six seasons. During that same stretch, he shot 39.8 percent from deep.

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With Stephen Curry out, much of the scoring spotlight shifts toward Durant. After the flap with Green, that spotlight turned even harsher.

It may not get any harsher than it will be Wednesday night, when the Warriors face Durant’s former team, the Oklahoma City Thunder, with one-time close friend Russell Westbrook back in the lineup.

If Durant starts making the shots he usually makes and seems more focused, perhaps he will have achieved his goal upon getting back in his lab.

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