The number of minutes Kevin Durant rested in Game 5: Zero.
Yep, KD played the entire time, and every minute was worth it for the Brooklyn Nets as they took a 3-2 lead over the Milwaukee Bucks on Tuesday.
With their season on the brink of getting axed, Durant took it upon himself to make sure they won’t face elimination on the road. In fact, he said it was his suggestion to Nets coach Steve Nash to leave him out there for 48 minutes if needed (via ESPN’s Malika Andrews).
Kevin Durant said that he told Steve Nash and assistant coach Jacque Vaughn he was okay to stay in for the full 48 minutes. Durant recalls saying, "If you don't need to take me out, I can do this."
— Malika Andrews (@malika_andrews) June 16, 2021
Durant surely didn’t waste any time, finishing with a historic triple-double of 49 points, 17 rebounds, and 10 assists. He made mincemeat of the Bucks’ defenders, destroying them as if they burned his house or something. He only missed seven of his 23 shots. Quite impressive considering PJ Tucker, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Jrue Holiday, Khris Middleton, and the rest of the global population tried to make things difficult for KD.
Durant’s proposition was truly risky though as playing without rest isn’t always advisable. Fatigue could settle in the closing quarter, which could lead to disaster. But clearly, the only disaster that happened was Durant was a point short of dropping a 50 piece on the Bucks.
Nash has repeatedly said he’ll stick with Durant no matter what, and Game 5 was a huge proof of that. With Kyrie Irving sidelined and James Harden not yet in full rhythm, KD knows he has to carry the Nets on his slim shoulders.
But first on the agenda perhaps for Kevin Durant: Ice.