2019 NBA Playoffs

About Last Night: Durant finishes off Clippers

Kevin Durant's 50 points propels the two-time defending champs into the second round

The best half of Kevin Durant’s high-scoring career came with an ironic twist.

The spindly sharpshooter absolutely torched the Clippers in the first half of Friday’s Game 6, drilling jumpers from all over the court and dunking without conscience en route to a ridiculous 38 points.

In addition to setting a personal best for one half, it tied the second-highest total in NBA playoff history.

The highest?

Set by the illustrious Eric “Sleepy” Floyd, who lit up the eventual-champion Lakers for 39 while playing for none other than … the Warriors, in 1987.

Missing out on an obscure team record proved a minuscule price for Durant to pay on what otherwise was one of the most memorable outings of his career.

In addition to leading the Warriors, finally, past the feisty Clippers and into the second round for a much-anticipated matchup with the Rockets, Durant finished with 50 to:

* Set his overall playoff career high for the second time in as many games

* Become the 24th player in league history to score 50 or more in a postseason game

* Become the first player with 95-plus points over two non-overtime playoff games since Michael Jordan in 1993

* Tie for the ninth-highest scoring total in a road playoff game

* Score the fourth-most points in a series clincher

* Join Russell Westbrook, Kobe Bryant and Jordan as the only players in the past 30 postseasons with consecutive 45-point games.


The 50-spot also completed an epic four-game stretch for Durant following his unusually passive performance (eight shots, 21 points) in the Warriors’ Game 2 meltdown. Durant proceeded to shred the Clippers for 38, 33, 45 and finally 50 points, averaging more than a point per minute and shooting a ridiculous 57 percent in the process.

Even his fellow players couldn’t quite believe it:

And when you’re hitting shots like this …

… against defense like that, a little idolatry is in order. Even Durant couldn’t help but admire his own handiwork.

And at the end of the day, despite giving the Warriors absolutely everything they had — “We made them change their starting lineup,” Lou Williams noted, somewhat seriously — the Clippers could only admire and appreciate what Durant had done. Witness this Abbott & Costello routine from Lou Williams and Patrick Beverley after the game:

Question: What more could you have done to slow Kevin down, especially in the first half?

Beverley: “What you think? (laughter) I mean, he’s Kevin Durant.”

Williams: “I promise we tried. We tried everything. We had several different coverages for KD.”

Beverley: “It didn’t work.”

Williams: “Sometimes you come across special (players) and it doesn’t matter what you send to them. There’s no scheme. And he’s one of them. He put them guys on his shoulders. He’s an all-world professional and he proved himself. And you tip your hat off to a guy like that.”

Beverley: “If that answers your question.”

Indeed it does, Patrick. Indeed it does.