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OAKLAND — The crowd roared with loud approval as the Warriors pulled away with a devastating run that left the Utah Jazz feeling helpless.

Usually, Warriors guard Stephen Curry causes such a commotion with his accurate 3-point heaves and crafty passes. This time, though, Curry stood from his seat on the bench and encouraged Dub Nation to cheer.

The Warriors secured a breezy 126-101 victory against the Utah Jazz on Wednesday at Oracle Arena. The standing ovation happened, though, after the Warriors ended the third quarter with a 90-69 lead after outscoring the Jazz 42-22 in that period. Just like what happened in all of the 10 games Curry missed with a sprained right ankle, Warriors forward Kevin Durant became the primary culprit for such an outburst as the Warriors outscored their opponent by at least 20 points for the fifth time this season.

“When duty calls, if Coach needs me to go out there and do something, I just do it,” Durant said. “I kind of know what my role is already on this team. I enjoy doing the other things out there. But when my number is called to score, that’s what I’ve been doing my whole life.”

And so Durant did just that once again.

Durant posted 11 of his team-leading 21 points during that time frame before offering a complete game in shooting percentage (7-of-10), rebounds (six), assists (four) and blocks (three). It seemed only fitting for Durant, who has averaged 29 points on 46.9 percent shooting, 8.6 rebounds, 5.5 assists and 3.1 blocks during Curry’s absence.

“He has a good feel for that,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr said. “He knows when he really moves and is active on both ends, how dominant that is for us.”

Just as Durant has played in rhythm, Warriors forward Draymond Green started to round into form in his third game back since nursing a sore right shoulder. He posted 14 points, eight assists and eight rebounds, falling just shy in what would have been a franchise-record 21st triple double. The Warriors’ Patrick McCaw (18 points), Klay Thompson (15), Nick Young (15) and Omri Casspi (10) also logged double digits.

Yet Kerr found the Warriors’ third-quarter run coinciding with Durant’s play that involved lots of movement, cutting, defense and scoring. Meanwhile, Green saw Durant’s play during Curry’s absence coinciding with putting up defensive performances that warrant taking away his NBA’s Defensive Player of the Year award.

“I don’t think it’s really a race right now with the way he’s playing on the defensive side of the ball. It’s been spectacular,” Green said. “It’s a thing now. That is impressive. It didn’t seem possible for it to be a thing. But he’s getting more attention for that. If I had a vote, I’d vote for him right now.”

Durant has received so much attention that Mychal Thompson, the former Showtime Lakers forward and father of Klay Thompson, tweeted that Durant “looks like Bill Russell on defense.” Durant, who ranks second in the NBA in blocked shots (2.33 per game) smiled when a reporter relayed those words. Durant mused, “Especially coming from a champ like Mr. Thompson, I must be doing something right so I’ll take it.”

“It’s cool people start to recognize me for being more than just a scorer,” said Durant, who noted he tried to change his reputation since 2012. “When people start to notice what you do, obviously it’s not for all you do it for, but you want people to appreciate what you bring to the table.”

The Warriors sure do. They praise Durant’s offensive versatility. They gush about Durant’s ability to still keep his teammates involved. They highlight Durant’s defensive presence with his 6-foot-9, 240-pound frame and infinite wingspan that enables him to block and alter shots. They credit Durant’s leadership qualities that entail fulfilling his job descriptions without much fanfare, while offering constructive feedback to his teammates without being demonstrative.

“It shows how far he has come as a basketball player to be able to help young guys out,” Warriors second-year guard Patrick McCaw said. “Even when we’re making mistakes, he’s always there to correct us and be in our ear. For a player of his caliber, to be willing to help and be in our ear, I think it’s huge just hearing from him. All the information I can soak in from KD, I’m willing to listen and learn.”

That dialogue started shortly after Curry sprained his right ankle on Dec. 4 in New Orleans. Then, the Warriors had a series of meetings outlining how they would adjust without their star player in the lineup. Some of the conversations centered on the Warriors’ need to elevate their defensive hustle to compensate for the absence of Curry’s shooting, playmaking and swarms of double teams he attracts on every possession. Kerr said he did not have a formal conversation about Durant’s need to increase his scoring and ball-handling workload, since both sides basically understood the reality.

So even if the Warriors dipped in pace and fell to 29th out of 30 NBA teams in 3-point shooting (32 percent) between Curry’s injury and before Wednesday’s game, the Warriors excelled elsewhere. While Durant logged at least 30 points in five games during Curry’s absence, the Warriors entered Wednesday’s game leading the NBA with a defensive rating of 98.1.

With Durant already winning an NBA championship, collecting a Finals MVP and regular-season MVP trophy and appearing in eight All-Star games, the Warriors are not exactly stunned Durant elevated the Warriors in multiple ways.

“A lot of times people forget who Kevin Durant is and what he’s capable of. It’s no surprise to me that the things he’s been doing with Steph out,” Green said. “He’ll continue to do great things. It hasn’t shocked me one bit with the things he’s been able to do.”

And it will not shock the Warriors one bit that Durant will accept a lesser workload once Curry returns.

“We haven’t put in new plays or done anything different when Steph’s been out,” Kerr said. “It’s basketball. So the beauty of KD is he knows how to play, whether he’s dominating the ball or playing off the ball. It doesn’t seem to bother him if he doesn’t have the ball in his hands.”

Therefore, Kerr predicted that Durant will “be very comfortable when Steph comes back.” When that happens, though, remains unclear.

Though Curry completed various sprinting and defensive drills with ease on Wednesday, he needs to make a significant step in Thursday’s practice after missing the past 10 games with a sprained right ankle. That involves scrimmaging, which may include either a series of five-on-five or three-on-three depending on who is available. Still, the Warriors will not evaluate Curry until Friday to see how his ankle responded. The Warriors also will not rush Curry since they want him healthy for June over just becoming available for December.

And yet.

“I can look in his eyes. I know he’s ready to play,” Durant said. “He’s excited to get back out there. We can’t wait to have him.”

Until that moment comes, Durant pledged to play his game by whatever means and whatever style becomes necessary. This reality explains why Durant has spent his 11-NBA career diversifying his drill work on playing off pick-and-rolls, working in the post and fine-tuning his jump shot. This reality explains why Durant has taken pride in blocking shots and becoming more active on defensive rotations. This reality explains why Durant contended, “If I’m not ready for it, then I’ll learn from it on the fly.”

“I just try to adapt as much as I can,” Durant said. “I do that by working on every part of my game. So when I need to bring it out, I feel comfortable with it.”

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