Kid Clutch: Durant Scores 41 As Thunder Even Series With Spurs


Sunday, May 8th 2016, 11:36 pm
By: Brett Coppenbarger


One game after reeling in criticism for late-game miscues in a Game 3 loss, Kevin Durant responded by torching the Spurs for 41 points as he led the Thunder to a 111-97 win in Game 4 to even the series at 2 games apiece.

Related: Thunder Social Scene

For all the flack OKC took for bobbling games in the fourth quarter, it was the final frame where the Thunder roared loudest. Durant outscored the Spurs by himself (17-to-16) in the quarter and his supporting cast all played their roles to perfection as the Thunder dazzled in front of its deafening home crowd.

As well as it ended, things didn’t go as smoothly for the Thunder to open up the game.  

After he literally entered the game wearing his game warmups, Kawhi Leonard was extremely aggressive in the first half as he helped the Spurs build up an 11 point lead early in the second quarter. The Thunder was facing a huge deficit, but Dion Waiters helped provide a nice spark plug off the bench, and he along with Durant and Russell Westbrook brought the Thunder back to take a 45-44 lead with 1:47 left before halftime.

It looked like the Thunder was right back in it, but San Antonio closed the half on a 9-to-0 run as the Spurs took an eight point lead into intermission.

OKC was able to chip away at the Spurs’ lead in the third frame, and actually took a 73-71 lead after Waiters finished a fast break layup with 1:53 left in the quarter. But once again, the Spurs had an answer. San Antonio closed out the frame on a 10-to-4 run and led by four points entering the fourth quarter.

After two swings and misses at running away with the lead, the Thunder still had one more strike in its back pocket, and with Durant and Westbrook on the team, everyone inside of Chesapeake Energy Arena had a reason to believe.

Randy Foye—who got the nod to play backup point guard in the second half—drained a corner 3-pointer in front of the Thunder bench, and then after a Manu Ginobili miss on the other end, Enes Kanter drained a money ball at the other corner to tie the game at 85-85 with just over 10 minutes left to play.

Things were coming together for the Thunder, and its superstar was just getting started.

Right after Patty Mills responded to give the Spurs a two-point lead, Durant ripped off a personal 8-to-0 run which put the Thunder up 93-87 with the final stretch still to be played. San Antonio wouldn’t disappear right away, as the Spurs got within four points with 2:39 left, but the best was yet to come for OKC.

Durant got things rolling again with a baseline runner that swished through the net to put OKC up six points, but the most defining play of the game was up next. Spurs’ point guard Tony Parker tried to back down Westbrook in the paint, but Westbrook was having none of that. As Parker tried to bang bodies in the post, Westbrook was able to poke the ball away and immediately turn in transition, where he lobbed a beautiful arching pass to Durant, who was able to finish off the break with a layup that almost blew the roof off the Peake.

OKC wasn’t done, as Durant drilled a corner 3-pointer to put the Thunder up 11, and then Westbrook finished things off with a turnaround jumper one possession later as the Thunder pulled away for a huge statement win.

Durant’s 41 points tied a playoff career high, while he added five rebounds and four assists to his stat line. After missing 21 shots in Game 3, Westbrook bounced back with 14 points on only 18 shots as he looked to get his teammates more involved. Westbrook finished with 15 assists and seven rebounds as well.

OKC’s superstars were huge, but Waiters, Kanter and Steven Adams were the x-factors. Waiters finished with 17 points on 7-for-11 shooting, and was a huge force off the bench. When OKC’s offense struggled early in the game, it was Adams who kept the Thunder alive and added 16 points and 11 rebounds. One of Donovan’s biggest coaching decisions was to play Kanter throughout the fourth quarter, and his rebounding prowess was crucial for the Thunder as he finished with 11 points and eight boards.

Parker led the Spurs with 22 points, while Leonard added 21 but failed to score in the fourth quarter. LaMarcus Aldridge also had a solid game with 20 points, but OKC did a better job at limiting his open jumpers throughout.

The series will move back to San Antonio for Game 5 on Tuesday night. 

As well as it ended, things didn’t go as smoothly for the Thunder to open up the game.  

After he literally entered the game wearing his game warmups, Kawhi Leonard was extremely aggressive in the first half as he helped the Spurs build up an 11 point lead early in the second quarter. The Thunder was facing a huge deficit, but Dion Waiters helped provide a nice spark plug off the bench, and he along with Durant and Russell Westbrook brought the Thunder back to take a 45-44 lead with 1:47 left before halftime.

It looked like the Thunder was right back in it, but San Antonio closed the half on a 9-to-0 run as the Spurs took an eight point lead into intermission.

OKC was able to chip away at the Spurs’ lead in the third frame, and actually took a 73-71 lead after Waiters finished a fast break layup with 1:53 left in the quarter. But once again, the Spurs had an answer. San Antonio closed out the frame on a 10-to-4 run and led by four points entering the fourth quarter.

After two swings and misses at running away with the lead, the Thunder still had one more strike in its back pocket, and with Durant and Westbrook on the team, everyone inside of Chesapeake Energy Arena had a reason to believe.

Now this is playoff basketball. Doesn't get any better than this. Unless you can win 'em all 140-69. @NEWS9Thunder

— Dean Blevins (@DeanBlevins) May 9, 2016

Randy Foye—who got the nod to play backup point guard in the second half—drained a corner 3-pointer in front of the Thunder bench, and then after a Manu Ginobili miss on the other end, Enes Kanter drained a money ball at the other corner to tie the game at 85-85 with just over 10 minutes left to play.

Things were coming together for the Thunder, and its superstar was just getting started.

Right after Patty Mills responded to give the Spurs a two-point lead, Durant ripped off a personal 8-to-0 run which put the Thunder up 93-87 with the final stretch still to be played. San Antonio wouldn’t disappear right away, as the Spurs got within four points with 2:39 left, but the best was yet to come for OKC.

Durant got things rolling again with a baseline runner that swished through the net to put OKC up six points, but the most defining play of the game was up next. Spurs’ point guard Tony Parker tried to back down Westbrook in the paint, but Westbrook was having none of that. As Parker tried to bang bodies in the post, Westbrook was able to poke the ball away and immediately turn in transition, where he lobbed a beautiful arching pass to Durant, who was able to finish off the break with a layup that almost blew the roof off the Peake.

OKC wasn’t done, as Durant drilled a corner 3-pointer to put the Thunder up 11, and then Westbrook finished things off with a turnaround jumper one possession later as the Thunder pulled away for a huge statement win.

Pop on KD- He was fantastic #News9Thunder pic.twitter.com/xAS5rdawMv

— Steve McGehee (@SteveMcGehee) May 9, 2016

Durant’s 41 points tied a playoff career high, while he added five rebounds and four assists to his stat line. After missing 21 shots in Game 3, Westbrook bounced back with 14 points on only 18 shots as he looked to get his teammates more involved. Westbrook finished with 15 assists and seven rebounds as well.

OKC’s superstars were huge, but Waiters, Kanter and Steven Adams were the x-factors. Waiters finished with 17 points on 7-for-11 shooting, and was a huge force off the bench. When OKC’s offense struggled early in the game, it was Adams who kept the Thunder alive and added 16 points and 11 rebounds. One of Donovan’s biggest coaching decisions was to play Kanter throughout the fourth quarter, and his rebounding prowess was crucial for the Thunder as he finished with 11 points and eight boards.

I like the bench tonight, Waiters, Kanter, Foye#News9Thunder

— Steve McGehee (@SteveMcGehee) May 9, 2016

Parker led the Spurs with 22 points, while Leonard added 21 but failed to score in the fourth quarter. LaMarcus Aldridge also had a solid game with 20 points, but OKC did a better job at limiting his open jumpers throughout.

Thunder win! This series has only just begun. https://t.co/hY0ILnZzDQ

— Up The Thunder (@UpTheThunder) May 9, 2016

The series will move back to San Antonio for Game 5 on Tuesday night. 

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Kevin Durant torched the Spurs for 41 points as he led the Thunder to a 111-97 win in Game 4 to even the series at 2 games apiece. 

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