Kevin Durant’s 53 Points Against Knicks Sends Message To East

Kevin Durant, Brooklyn Nets, NBA News
NBA Analysis Network

The Brooklyn Nets won their third game in a row on Sunday afternoon, defeating the New York Knicks at Barclays Center, by a score of 110-107. The Knicks had their chances to take control of the game late, but there was one sizable difference between the teams on Sunday afternoon; the Nets have NBA superstar Kevin Durant and the Knicks don’t.

Durant poured in a season-high 53 points, the second time this season he has surpassed the 50-point plateau. The first came against the Detroit Pistons on December 12th. Against the New York K Knicks, Brooklyn certainly needed all 53.

The Brooklyn Nets were shorthanded as Seth Curry was a late scratch from the lineup. He joined LaMarcus Aldridge and Kyrie Irving as bystanders for the game, leaving Durant as the only go-to option for consistent offense.

He delivered, as he played 43 minutes and shot 19-of-37 from the field. He was only 4-of-13 from the 3-point line but made 11-of-12 free throws to make up for it. New York just had no answer for him, as he also grabbed six rebounds and handed out nine assists.

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“I felt like we were shorthanded in the scoring department missing Ky’, missing Seth, missing LaMarcus,” Durant said.

“I’m at a point in my career where I’m like ‘All right, how can I impact everybody out here? How can I make the other coaches think about their game plan?’ So I feel like I up the level of everybody out there on the floor, and that’s a good feeling to have.”

The New York K Knicks did force Kevin Durant into five turnovers and were daring other players to beat them. They got back into the game and even took a lead late in the fourth quarter as they blitzed Durant at halfcourt, forcing him to give up the ball. More often than not, his teammates were not up to the task.

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But, the Knicks did lose Durant on a few occasions and he made them pay whenever that occurred.

“He’s one of the best to ever do it, so it’s tough when he gets hot like that,” said RJ Barrett (24 points). “It was a close game, we had opportunities, we had chances. But especially the shot he hit with a minute left was a big shot.”

When Durant re-entered the game with 6:54 remaining, Andre Drummond was the only other Net to score the remainder of the game. Durant scored 13 of the Brooklyn Nets’ 22 points in the fourth quarter, including their last seven of the game.

“You can throw a lot of bodies at [Durant], you can be physical,” Evan Fournier said. “But once he elevates, his release is so high and he’s so tall it’s just him and the rim.”

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Fournier was on the end of one of those scoring plays, as a clip of Durant taunting Fournier after a basket, holding his fingers together to insinuate that Fournier was too small to defend him, went viral on social media.

Fournier is certainly not the first and won’t be the last person that Kevin Durant scores over. Brooklyn is going to need more of these performances if they want to advance throughout the postseason, as there seems to be no light at the end of the tunnel when it comes to Kyrie Irving becoming a full-time player.

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