Game 5 between the Brooklyn Nets and the Milwaukee Bucks will be marked by the historic night that All-Sar forward Kevin Durant had.
When those in Brooklyn needed him most with the absence of Kyrie Irving and the reappearance of James Harden, who was coming off a 10-day injury stoppage, KD responded and had a performance that put his team ahead in the Semifinals series of the Eastern Conference against the Bucks 3-2 after winning Tuesday night 108-114 at Barclays Center.
KD became the first player in NBA Playoff history to record 45 points, 15 rebounds and 10 assists in the same game, according to ESPN Stats & Info; In addition, he saw action during the 48 minutes of the game.
“It was probably not ideal,” coach Steve Nash said at the end of the game. “But if he didn’t play 48 (minutes), we probably wouldn’t have won tonight … it was amazing that he was able to do it and handle that load.”
Durant recalled telling Nash and assistant coach Jacque Vaughn that he was fine to stay for the full 48 minutes on the floor. “If you don’t need to get me out, I can do this,” KD told them … And boy did he deliver.
His teammate since they were in the late Seattle SuperSonics, Jeff Green, who from the bench contributed 27 points, said of Durant’s performance: “The world is witnessing, once again, who is the best player in the world.”
For Harden, things were a little less flashy, as ‘La Barba’, was limited to five points in his return to the starting lineup.
The decision to allow Harden to play was made after he tested his right hamstring on the court before kickoff. He played 37 minutes and shot 1 of 10 from the field, missing his eight 3-point attempts, and went scoreless in the first half. He added six rebounds, eight assists and four turnovers.