Toronto Raptors

Kevin Durant stunned by Raptors rookie Scottie Barnes' age: 'He makes winning basketball plays'

Toronto Raptors rookie Scottie Barnes left an impression in his matchup with two-time NBA Finals MVP Kevin Durant in the Brooklyn Nets 116-103 win at Scotiabank Arena.

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The No. 4 overall pick in the 2021 NBA Draft had some impressive defensive stretches against both Durant and James Harden, finishing the game with a career-high five steals - none better than this swipe on KD, who had nothing but praise for him postgame.

"You've got a lot of guys who love to compete and love to win, but what's more rare about Scottie Barnes is his IQ for the game, his length, his enthusiasm for the game," Durant said postgame.

"All of that stuff shines bright when you watch him play. You can tell he just wants to be there for his teammates, he makes winning basketball plays."

Barnes finished with eight points, seven rebounds, four assists and five steals against the Nets, showcasing his versatility on both ends of the floor and through the first nine games of the season he leads all rookies in scoring (16.6 points per game), rebounds (8.7) and minutes (38.4) and is seventh in assists (2.4), third in blocks (0.7) fourth in steals (1.1).

"I think a lot of young guys in the league have that competitive fire, but he has something a little extra as far as seeing the game a little slower and that's rare for a guy, how old is he 19, 20? Sheesh," Durant said in disbelief of the rookie's tender age.

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"He knows how to play the right way and he's only going to get better."

Nets veteran forward Blake Griffin added to Durant's comments, saying Barnes has a bright future in the league.

"Body-wise, he's NBA ready. Confident. Can score in a variety of ways. I do love that he sets hard screens, rolls, rebounds," he said postgame.

"He's going to be good for a long time."

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