Kyrie Irving was unavailable. James Harden was clearly struggling while playing with a hamstring injury. The Nets were 16 points behind the Bucks at halftime.
But Brooklyn did have Kevin Durant, and in Tuesday night’s crucial Game 5, that was enough. The former NBA MVP had a historic playoff performance in the Nets’ 114-108 victory. He scored 49 points, 17 rebounds, 10 assists, three steals and two blocks while hitting 16 of 23 shots from the field, 4 of 9 from 3-point range and 13 of 16 at the free throw line.
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Durant became the first player in postseason history with at least 45 points, 15 rebounds and 10 assists. through ESPN statistics and information. Oh, and by the way, he also played every 48 minutes Game 5.
“I mean, it’s ridiculous what he can do,” Nets coach Steve Nash said. “I think we know he’s capable of nights like this, but to do it tonight, we lose Ky. Obviously, James is battling his ailments. We’re down. We’re hurt, and for him to have the toughness, the mindset, that is. which makes him one of the greats of all time.
“This was a performance that, a characteristic performance of Kevin, and it was beautiful to watch.”
Brooklyn forward Jeff Green, who stood out with 27 points off the bench, put it simply on Durant’s spectacular performance: “The world is witnessing, once again, who is the best player in the world.”
League players, including LeBron James and Donovan Mitchell, shared their appreciation for Durant as he burned down Milwaukee. Here are some of the best reactions:
KD’s masterful performance … he played all 48! #legal
– Myles Turner (@Original_Turner) June 16, 2021
Man KD is unfair
– Kevin Huerter (@KevinHuerter) June 16, 2021
KD takes over this game
– Miles Bridges (@MilesBridges) June 16, 2021
Rucker Park Durant !!!
– Tim Hardaway Jr (@T_HardJR) June 16, 2021
Kevin Durant … your favorite player’s favorite player
– Larry Nance Jr (@ Larrydn22) June 16, 2021
The best player in the world !!!!!!
– Isaiah Thomas (@isaiahthomas) June 16, 2021
KD mannnn‼ ️
– 🏁 Jamal Crawford (@JCrossover) June 16, 2021
49pt triple double… Sheesh !!!!
– Vince Carter (@ mrvincecarter15) June 16, 2021