Texas Basketball legend Kevin Durant was electric in Game 5 of the NBA Finals to win his first NBA Championship.
Kevin Durant was unstoppable. He was proficient. He was unconscious at times in an epic NBA Finals closeout performance.
It wasn’t just the 39 points to lead the Golden State Warriors to an NBA Finals victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers. It was how he did and when he did it.
When LeBron James and Cavs made their fourth quarter push, Durant nailed clutch three-pointers. He also made outstanding passes to open teammates.
It seemed like every time LeBron was ready to tie the game, Durant answered. Eventually, the Warriors just wore down the Cavs to win 129-120 and take the series 4-1.
Durant was a big reason Golden State prevailed. That earned him recognition as the NBA Finals MVP, completing his journey from disappointment in OKC to the final triumph with the GSW.
Kevin Durant Played like he was Back at Texas
Throughout the NBA Finals, you saw Kevin Durant reach a new level of play. He made clutch shots, he nailed three-pointers, and he found open teammates. He just played basketball. And, he’s really, really good at playing basketball.
It was like his first and only year at Texas when he played so great and so carefree. He was electric and magnificent. He rocked the Erwin Center and struck fear in the hearts of Big 12 opponents to earn Player of the Year as a freshman.
Then, with Oklahoma City, he came up short in the 2012 NBA Finals against LeBron James and the Miami Heat. In the years after the 2012 Finals, Durant played tight in big games. He was excellent and one of the top players in the world at times, but he could not get over the hump. Durant was missing that extra something from his UT days.
In California, Durant found that edge. He was not going to be denied his first NBA Title. He went toe-to-toe with LeBron James and he was the difference between the Warriors losing the 2016 NBA Finals and winning the 2017 NBA Finals against the Cavs.
As Warriors head coach Steve Kerr said during the Finals, Durant was having the time of his life playing at this level. It was just like he was back at Texas as the Big Man on Campus as a freshman.
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Kevin Durant Final Box Score
Kevin Durant logged his fifth consecutive game of 30+ points in the NBA Finals. He has also recorded 25+ points in all ten NBA Finals games he’s played in, including the 4-1 series loss to LeBron in the 2012 NBA Finals.
Game 5 Box Score
- 39 points
- 7 rebounds
- 5 assists
- 1 steal
- 14-20 shooting
- 5-8 on threes
- 6-6 FTs
In Game 5, Durant nearly outscored LeBron James, who scored 41 points doing everything he could to will his team to a close game in the fourth quarter. But, Durant had the answer. He was the answer.
After the game, Durant and LeBron shared a moment on the court. Then, Durant embraced his fellow Longhorn, Tristan Thompson.
It was nice to see Thompson assert himself in Game 5, too. Thompson finished with 15 points, 8 rebounds, 3 assists, 1 steal, and 1 block. He grabbed some key rebounds and fought with Durant in the paint.
But, this was KD’s time. And, Kevin Durant is finally an NBA champion ten years after rocking the Erwin Center in Austin.
Congratulations to the 2017 Finals MVP on raising his game to the next level after going back in time to find something extra from his electric Texas Basketball run.