Trailing the Milwaukee Bucks by double digits at halftime, with James Harden sick and Kyrie Irving completely out, the Brooklyn Nets looked on track to lose Game 5. Then Kevin Durant happened.
With a playoff performance that no other player has replicated in NBA history, the former Finals MVP had 49 points, 17 rebounds and 10 assists while playing the 48 minutes to lead the Nets’ comeback and deliver. a 3-2 series lead to Brooklyn.
“I can’t celebrate,” Durant said after the game. “We have another game to try to finish.”
The game itself wasn’t decided until the last few possessions, after a Durant free throw put the nets on four points with 11 seconds left. Brooklyn eventually won 114-108.
According to the Nets, no player other than Durant has recorded more than 45 points, more than 15 rebounds and more than 10 assists in the playoffs.
In achieving the brilliant triple-double, Durant joined Oscar Robertson (1963), Charles Barkley (1993) and Luka Doncic (2020) as the only players to reach a line of at least 40 points, 15 rebounds and 10 assists in the playoffs.
Several of Durant’s teammates in the NBA, from LeBron James to Magic Johsnon, shared their appreciation for the all-time great performance after the game.