1. Kevin Durant’s 49-point game in Game 5 vs Bucks
After Irving was lost in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Semis against the Milwaukee Bucks, Kevin Durant knew it was all up to him to carry the Nets. No Irving. An injured Harden going 50%. Time to shine.
On June 15, Durant fought tooth and nail to give the Nets a 3-2 series lead before the series headed back to Milwaukee. Before we get into his overall numbers, what made this performance so great is the fact that he wiped away a 16-point lead that the Bucks secured going into the half.
Durant plunged the dagger with less than a minute to spare in the fourth quarter. He closed out with 49 points, 17 rebounds and 10 assists on the night.
This game was enough to show that the Nets were and still are championship contenders. They were missing two of their best players (Harden was hobbled and hardly contributing) and still took the eventual NBA champions to the brink with KD shouldering a majority of the load (he dropped 32 in Game 6 and 48 in Game 7, both of which were unfortunately losses).
Partner this effort and drive with a healthy and adamant team ready to take on any opponent, and you’re looking at the likely 2021-2022 NBA champs assuming everything goes as planned.