Tuesday, April 30, 2013

The Rockets Live To Give Us 48 More Minutes Of Kevin Durant

1 on 4, take the 1
Tonight in Houston, the young Rockets staved off a sweep against the favored Thunder, pushing their series to a Game Five in Oklahoma City. The series has been actually great on the eyes, despite the fact that the Thunder were a half second away from ending this in the minimum (Derek Fisher had a three waved off at the end of the shot clock), mostly because we're being treated to the full flowering of Kevin Durant against a young and game team that refuses to quit. (And if you want to be very fair about this, Houston is a lucky Durant roll on a made three in Game 3 from having this thing knotted up.)

Houston got an amazing game from Chandler Parsons (27-10-8), and excellent support from Omer Asik (17-14, big defense especially at the close) and Carlos Delfino (13-4-3 on 4 of 6 shooting with strong defense on Durant). OKC got one of those absurdly useful Fisher games (4 of 5 from the arc) and first half utility from Kevin Martin (16-3-2 on 5 of 11 shooting). But this was all about Durant, who had 38-8-6, made a 1-on-4 drive and dunk in the fourth quarter that belongs on an all-time highlight reel, and did all of that on 12 of 16 shooting. The Thunder can't win a championship with Reggie Jackson, a solid Russell Westbrook impersonator for the bench players, getting starter minutes and going 7 for 18 in 36 minutes; they also need a lot more from Serge Ibaka (8-5-2 in 34 minutes with a missed putback at the buzzer that would have forced overtime), and will likely get it at home in a couple of days.

But all of this is besides the point. The simple fact of the matter is that Houston's win means that we'll get one more game from Durant in these playoffs, and one more chance to see if there is even more to his game that he wants to show us. I can't tell you how OK I am with that.

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