'All-time great': Kevin Durant masterclass leaves NBA fans in awe

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·Sports Reporter
·4-min read
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Kevin Durant celebrates as the Brooklyn Nets defeat the Milwaukee Bucks in game five of the Eastern Conference semi-finals.
Kevin Durant dropped 49 points, 17 rebounds and 10 assists on the Milwaukee Bucks during Brooklyn's 114-108 win in game five of the Eastern Conference semi-finals. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

Kevin Durant left the NBA world in awe as his 49-point triple-double put the Brooklyn Nets on the cusp of eliminating the Milwaukee Bucks from the playoffs.

In his first season back after rehabilitating the torn achilles he suffered during the 2019 NBA Finals, Durant has guided the Nets to championship favouritism thanks to his transcendent play.

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The Bucks were on the receiving end of his wrath on Wednesday, with an electric second half from the 2014 MVP erasing a 17-point deficit and keying a 114-108 victory to hand the Nets a 3-2 series lead.

James Harden returned for the Nets after injuring his hamstring in game one, but the 2017 MVP couldn't offer much for Brooklyn - eventually finishing with just three points.

It mattered little though, as Durant took over the game - though a near perfect shooting night from Jeff Green kept the Nets within striking distance.

Brooklyn were without point guard Kyrie Irving, who injured his ankle in game four.

Durant playing literally every minute of the game in his first season back from an Achilles tear though, that was a surprise.

After a moribund first half in which Harden missed all six shots from the field, the Nets launched a 10-1 run midway through the third quarter to cut the lead to single digits and breathe some life into the Barclays Center crowd.

By the end of the third quarter, the lead was down to six points. Three minutes into the fourth quarter the game was tied. And then Durant really got going.

Jrue Holiday guards Kevin Durant during game five of the Eastern Conference semi-finals between Brooklyn and Milwaukee.
The Milwaukee Bucks had no answer for Kevin Durant, who scored 49-points in an NBA playoff masterclass. (Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images)

He scored 14 points in the final nine minutes, as well as dishing out two assists, capping his individual run with a back-breaking three over Bucks forward PJ Tucker to put the Nets up by four with just over 50 seconds to play.

Milwaukee were paced by 34 points from Giannis Antetokounmpo and 25 from Khris Middleton, but will need to dig deep to avoid elimination and force game seven when the series swings back to Fiserv Forum in Wisconsin.

Fans in awe over Kevin Durant NBA Playoffs masterclass

If there were any doubt Durant would be able to perform at the peak of his powers after his 2019 injury, they were put to rest against the Bucks.

You could almost feel the moment rumble, when Durant started directing traffic to clear out things, when the Bucks couldn’t capitalise on the Nets’ lack of rhythm and confusion with Harden’s return.

The game was there for the taking, especially since he didn’t take his first shot of the second half until midway through the third quarter.

Once he got rolling though, NBA fans knew they were in for a treat.

The Nets will advance to their first conference finals since 2003 if they can win on Thursday night in Milwaukee.

Game 7, if necessary, would be played in Brooklyn on Saturday.

Harden had just five points playing for the first time since leaving 43 seconds into the series opener with right hamstring tightness.

He made just one field goal - missing eight 3-pointers - but had eight assists and six rebounds while playing 46 minutes.

Jeff Green starred off the bench sinking seven 3-pointers in a play-offs career-high 27 points for the Nets.

Milwaukee had all the momentum heading into Tuesday's clash after successive wins at home and Irving spraining his ankle in Game 4.

With Yahoo Sport US/AAP

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