Is Kevin Durant the perfect participant on this planet?


LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - APRIL 26:  Kevin Durant #35 of the Golden State Warriors smiles at his bench in a 129-110 win over the LA Clippers during Game Six of Round One of the 2019 NBA Playoffs at Staples Center on April 26, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.

Kevin Durant put up 50 in opposition to the Clippers on April 26 in Los Angeles.

Harry How/Getty Photos

The one knock you may make on Kevin Durant’s 50-point efficiency in opposition to the Los Angeles Clippers is that Golden State wanted to play a Sport 6 to ensure that it to occur. The Warriors misplaced as many house video games on this first-round collection (two) as they did throughout their earlier two postseason runs mixed, and the additional work of Friday’s 129-110 victory took its toll. Whereas Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson each suffered—and performed via—ankle accidents, Durant took management of the offense and examined the endurance of the Staples Middle’s scorekeeper.

Durant scored 38 earlier than halftime, which tied an NBA playoff document for many factors in a single half. He was as environment friendly as he was prolific, and it solely took him 26 photographs to succeed in his closing tally of 50 factors. It was the type of efficiency the place the numbers themselves make for jaw-dropping highlights, however the precise highlights are value watching, too.

Seven-footers aren’t purported to be that nimble, and Durant scored with the convenience of a retirement house orderly retrieving a blanket from a reasonably excessive shelf. It regarded so easy that I used to be relieved to see him out of breath through the halftime interview, if just for the sake of his opponents’ delight. “We tried all the things,” Clippers guard Lou Williams stated after the sport. “Generally, you come throughout particular individuals and it doesn’t matter what you ship to them.”

“That was one of many nice performances I’ve ever seen in my life, and I’ve seen some good ones,” Warriors head coach Steve Kerr stated after the sport. Kerr known as Durant “the perfect participant on this planet,” and the ahead gained’t have to attend lengthy to justify that reward. Golden State’s subsequent collection, in opposition to the Houston Rockets, begins on Sunday.

No group has come nearer than the Rockets to toppling the Warriors through the Durant period. They pushed Golden State to a Sport 7 in final yr’s Western Convention Finals earlier than succumbing to one of many coldest (and oddest) capturing performances in postseason historical past (7-for-44 from past the arc). For those who imagine luck manifests itself in broad, pendular swings, then Curry and Thompson’s ankle accidents in all probability look fairly important. Each gamers are anticipated to play in Sport 1, however they have been clearly hobbled in opposition to the Clippers on Friday so count on Durant to be tasked with a lot of the heavy lifting. For at the least the instant future, Golden State shall be his group.

Regardless of successful two consecutive Finals MVP trophies, Durant has been one thing of an adjunct celebrity throughout his tenure with the Warriors. He’s been the plus-one to their celebration, and this has helped gas rumors of his imminent departure throughout free company this summer time. Some league insiders are treating this as a foregone conclusion, that means all that’s left to find out is whether or not or not Durant leaves as a champion. That, like all the things else associated to the Warriors for the time being, is totally as much as him.


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