Kevin Durant gave NBA fans one of the great performances in NBA history in Game 6 of the Western Conference Finals against the San Antonio Spurs.
Durant played all 48 minutes of Game 6, scored 34 points to go with 14 rebounds and five assists as the Thunder beat the Spurs 107-99 and advance to the NBA Finals.
But Durant will be the first one to tell you it isn’t about him.
The Thunder won as a team. They beat the Spurs together. This is true. But Durant was nasty.
It wasn’t just that he played the whole game and scored 34 points. It’s that there was no question he was coming out of the game. There was no way.
“I wasn’t going to take him out.” Thunder head coach Scott Brooks said. “I wasn’t going to take him out I don’t care how many times he looked at me fatigued.”
The Thunder fell behind by 18 points in the first quarter. But anyone who watches the Thunder knew that it wasn’t over. They’re not the Heat. They were going to fight back.
The Thunder were leading 103-99 with 38 seconds to go and the ball. Durant had the ball at the top of the key, got doubled then found Kendrick Perkins wide open down low for the “icing on the cake” dunk.
Timeout Spurs. Durant hugs his mom. The Thunder are going to the NBA Finals. He’s only 23.
“It’s almost like a Hollywood scripts for OKC in a sense,” Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich said after the game.
This entire season has been all about the Thunder growing up as a team. Where they failed last season, they succeeded this year.
Since 1998, only three teams from the Western Conference have made it to the NBA Finals: the Mavericks, Lakers and Spurs. The Thunder just beat each of them.
They found their identity. They made it all work. Durant is the reason why.
The Thunder dynasty is just beginning and Durant’s Game 6 will always be remembered.