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Kevin Durant is first Warrior since Rick Barry to score 40 points in back-to-back playoff games

Rick Barry, Kevin Durant

Many within and around the NBA believe Kevin Durant will be playing elsewhere next season. Whether or not that proves, the Golden State Warriors superstar has forcefully reminded the basketball world against the Los Angeles Clippers what it might be like if he had his own team

By eclipsing the 40-point mark midway through the third quarter of Game 6 on Friday night, Durant etched his name in the record books alongside Hall-of-Famer Rick Barry as the only players in franchise history to score 40 or more points in consecutive playoff games.

The two-time reigning Finals MVP scored a career postseason high of 45 points in Golden State’s stunning Game 5 loss on Wednesday. He shot 14-of-26 from the field, 5-of-12 from beyond the arc, and 12-of-12 at the free throw line while adding six rebounds and six assists.

Durant, incredibly, has been even better on Friday. He poured in 38 points in the first half of Game 6, coming within a single point of the league’s all-time record for points scored in a single half of a playoff game. Durant shot 12-of-17 from the field, 4-of-8 from beyond the arc, and a perfect 10-of-10 at the free throw line. The two-time reigning Finals MVP did his work from all over the court, too, attacking the rim for three scores from the restricted area, stepping back for three jumpers from mid-range, and splashing multiple triples from above the break, well behind the three-point line.

Golden State expended more energy than it wanted to advance past Los Angeles. If the Warriors want to beat the Houston Rockets in a highly-anticipated rematch of last year’s Western Conference Finals, they’ll need Durant to be at his best – a form he showed throughout the first round despite his team’s relative struggles.