Kevin Durant on Tuesday finished with 49 points while playing every minute of the game as the Brooklyn Nets rallied from a 17-point deficit to beat the Milwaukee Bucks 114-108 in Game 5 of their NBA playoff series.
Durant also had 17 rebounds and 10 assists as the Nets seized a 3-2 lead in the best-of-seven Eastern Conference semi-final series.
He took over in the second half for the Nets, who were behind by double digits for most of the game and by 17 with seven minutes to go in the third quarter. The Nets then went on a 17-5 run and Durant sealed it with a clutch three-pointer and four key free throws in the final two minutes.
Durant played all 48 minutes, shot 16-of-23 from the floor and finished just shy of his playoff career high of 50 points.
“I wasn’t planning on playing every minute, but I told my coach that I felt good and let me ride it out,” Durant said.
Nets coach Steve Nash said this will go down as one of Durant’s “signature” games.
“He played the entire game and he barely missed,” Nash said. “It is ridiculous what he is able to do. To do it on a night like this when we are down bodies and we are wounded. This is what makes him one of the all-time greats. This is a signature performance.”
“He is the best player in the world right now,” Bucks player Giannis Antetokounmpo said.
“We got to beat him as a team. We got to keep doing our jobs and hopefully he is going to miss,” he added.
Antetokounmpo had 34 points and 12 rebounds, while Khris Middleton added 25 points for the Bucks.
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