Marc J. Spears, a Bay Area-based NBA writer for ESPN’s The Undefeated, did it as well as anyone.
“It was an extreme pleasure to watch @KDTrey5 up close on a regular basis for three years,” Spears tweeted during the fourth quarter of Tuesday’s Game 5 between the Nets and Bucks in their second-round series. “When healthy, no offensive player in the world better. No one. Unstoppable. Beautiful to watch.”
Fans at Barclays Center were witnesses to it on Tuesday. And many of those watching the TNT broadcast of the game took to social media to convey their awe. Among them were a pair of former MVPs.
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LeBron, Patrick Mahomes Weigh in on Durant
With just over 50 seconds left in regulation and the shot clock nearing zero, Durant caught a pass from James Harden and took one dribble before popping from a couple of feet beyond the 3-point arc. Even with Khris Middleton’s hand in his face, Durant was able to get the basket to fall to give the Nets a 109-105 lead.
Cue an eruption from the Barclays Center crowd. If it wasn’t clear already, it was now: This was the Kevin Durant game.
Durant scored 20 of his 49 points in the fourth quarter to lead the Nets to a hugely important 114-108 win in Game 5. He finished one point shy of his personal career high for points in a playoff game as the series heads back to Milwaukee with Brooklyn holding a 3-2 series lead.
Even more impressive: Durant became the first player in NBA history with 45 points, 15 rebounds and 10 assists in a postseason game, according to the Nets.
Immediately after it was over, LeBron James took to Twitter to share his thoughts.
“GREATNESS!! Appreciate it while you can people! #KD” the Lakers superstar tweeted.
Even a former NFL MVP felt compelled to chime in.
“@KDTrey5 is going crazy!!!” Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes tweeted.
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Steve Nash Calls It a ‘Signature’ Performance for Durant
Durant played all 48 minutes and shot 16-of-23 from the field. Every minute mattered as Brooklyn fell into a 59-43 deficit by halftime.
During a postgame interview with TNT’s Jared Greenberg, Durant said he wasn’t planning on playing every minute and credit his teammates with helping to turn things around.
“(We) just had to continue to keep playing defense because our shots weren’t falling,” Durant said. “We were rushing a lot of looks too … but I think we settled in.”
Indeed they did — and no one more than Durant.
After the game, TNT’s Ernie Johnson called KD’s performance “as good a playoff performance as you could ever see, and he played every tick of the clock.”
Added Nets coach Steve Nash, via Brian Lewis of the New York Post: “It’s ridiculous what he’s able to do. … It’s a signature performance from Kevin.