While it may have appeared Los Angeles Clippers guard Patrick Beverley was getting under Kevin Durant's skin during Game 1 on Saturday night, the Golden State Warriors All-Star apparently enjoyed the battle.
"I've been playing against Pat Bev since he was in Arkansas, so I kinda know what he brings," Durant said following Golden State's 121-104 victory, according to ESPN's Nick Friedell. "He's a Chicago kid, man - grew up and raised in the Chicago area, so those dudes played with a different type of grit, so I can appreciate that about Pat.
"And we know what he's gonna bring to the table - just physicality, mucking up the game a little bit with his physicality, his talking, just everything - that's what he brings to each team he plays on. That's his identity, and they support him with the Clippers. So for me, I know that coming into the series, so I thought it was fun tonight."
Durant and Beverley were ejected from the game after they each received their second technical foul late in the fourth quarter. Durant got tangled up with Beverley and sent him toppling to the hardwood before staring him down as they exchanged words.
Beverley repeatedly attempted to rattle Durant throughout the contest, which included mimicking the forward's movements by mockingly flailing his arms after a foul call.
When asked afterward if he was intentionally trying to egg on the four-time scoring champion, Beverley said he was just being himself.
"It was fun out there," he said. "We competed. I really wish we could've played more without the chippy calls, but I understand it's Game 1 and they're trying to set the tone. But this is the playoffs. People want to come see a good basketball game and not so many fouls, but there's things that we can control."
Durant finished with 23 points, four rebounds, three assists, and three rejections in 32 minutes of action for the Warriors, while Beverley contributed just three points on 1-of-6 shooting and was a team-worst minus-24 for Los Angeles.
Game 2 of the best-of-seven series goes down Tuesday night.