Kevin Durant leads Oklahoma City to a 2-2 tie with the Spurs in the Western Conference Finals.
Durant is treating the postseason like an extension of his barnstorming tour last summer, when he lit up playgrounds from Harlem to L.A. In the first round of the playoffs, he beat the Mavericks with a game-winner. In the second round, he beat the Lakers with two. And in Game 4 of the Western Conference Finals on Saturday night, when the Spurs cut the deficit to four points in the fourth quarter, Durant embarked on an unforgettable onslaught that cements his status among the NBA’s elite closers.
He scored 16 consecutive points, with a torrent of fadeaways and turnaround jumpers, plus a floater in the lane and an ally-oop from the baseline. He burned through two San Antonio defenders, first Kawhi Leonard and then Stephen Jackson, and when he was done the de facto NBA Finals were tied 2-2. “I just try to take it on, try not to be nervous,” Durant said. “Sometimes it’s nerve-racking playing those games like that. But I just try to calm down and go with my instincts.”
So much for the Spurs being invincible.
This shouldn’t be surprising, however, as we have two excellent teams battling for a spot in the Finals. Now we’ll see if the Spurs can get it back together in Game 5.