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Thursday night NBA grades: Kevin Durant wants to remind you he is good at basketball

May 2, 2014, 3:28 AM EDT

Kevin Durant Kevin Durant

Our quick look around the NBA, or what you missed while watching tiny hamsters eating tiny burritos

source:  Kevin Durant, Oklahoma City Thunder. How’s that for reliable? With everything (including maybe Scott Brooks’ job) on the line Durant had by far his best game of these playoffs. He set the tone early, scoring 14 points on 6-10 shooting in the first quarter. He was able to make moves, work off the ball and shake Tony Allen enough to get some clean looks in the second half. Durant finished with 36 points on 23 shots, he was aggressive and got to the line 15 times. He also had 10 boards. Russell Westbrook played his best playoff game, too. Consider this a reminder that when you have two of the league’s top 10 players and they are both on, good things happen.

source:  David West, Indiana Pacers. That is leadership — the Pacers are playing Saturday because of West. He had 12 of his 24 points in the fourth quarter when he was making plays. When the Pacers went small he became a fulcrum of the offense in the middle and could do that thanks to his passing and ball handling. West also had 12 boards.

source:  Frank Vogel, coach, Indiana Pacers. STOP PUTTING ROY HIBBERT IN THE GAME. STOP PUTTING ROY HIBBERT IN THE GAME. STOP PUTTING ROY HIBBERT IN THE GAME. STOP PUTTING ROY HIBBERT IN THE GAME. STOP PUTTING ROY HIBBERT IN THE GAME. STOP PUTTING ROY HIBBERT IN THE GAME.

source:  Golden State Warriors’ bench. They were not mind-glowingly good — the bench scored 30 points on 40 percent shooting — but they made some plays when called upon. (And they were better than the Clippers bench, which shot 28 percent.) Marreese Speights stepped up big in the fourth quarter when David Lee fouled out. Jordan Crawford and Harrison Barnes each had 8 points (not efficiently, but points). And they helped key the win over the Clippers as much as anyone else.

  1. lifegoesonmyfriend - May 2, 2014 at 4:23 AM

    Is Roy Hibbert dead? ROFL.

    Look at the guy who claims that he’ll be the defensive player of the year.

  2. eugenesaxe1 - May 2, 2014 at 4:38 AM

    Yeah, Hibbert’s taking a real big poop at the wrong time.

  3. p31squared - May 2, 2014 at 6:22 AM

    Hibbert actually played well defensively in the fourth quarter. I was surprised Vogel went with him as long as he did late, but he was a presence. Might be the elixir this guy needs to get his head right. He’s not done.

  4. apkyletexas - May 2, 2014 at 7:26 AM

    Four game 7’s coming up. Got to love the NBA!

  5. jasper36 - May 2, 2014 at 7:45 AM

    The headline should have also read And Good at Shooting Freethrows. Because we know the league is not going to allow OKC to lose to Memphis.

    • asimonetti88 - May 2, 2014 at 11:03 AM

      Being good at shooting free throws is a great skill to have. Imagine how good Dwight Howard would be if he could shoot free throws.

  6. cantonbound13 - May 2, 2014 at 8:21 AM

    Durant = MVP

    • totallyuselessme - May 2, 2014 at 3:37 PM

      Too unreliable.

  7. jbeagles23 - May 2, 2014 at 9:54 AM

    Durant is the MVP. What’s your point?

    • jimeejohnson - May 2, 2014 at 11:12 AM

      His head.

  8. jolink653 - May 2, 2014 at 10:27 AM

    You’re not gonna fix Hibbert by sitting him on the bench. He’s been the anchor of that defense all year, and you just have to let him play through it (as long as it’s not an injury). This series shouldn’t have even been close anyway; not that Atlanta doesn’t have talent, but the Pacers should have blown the doors off this series

  9. jerdogthompson - May 2, 2014 at 10:36 AM

    Gotta love the phantom foul on BG against AI in the 4th. Great officiating there guys.

    Not to mention the other foul BG took with his BACK to MS. These refs cease to amaze me with their collective wisdom.

  10. kb2408 - May 2, 2014 at 11:04 AM

    Old Mr. Unreliable failed again. Yeah, whatever! KD has faced Tony Allen for the last 7 years and has lit him up more times than not. The only man on this earth that can stop KD from getting 30 pts is KD himself.

  11. kb2408 - May 2, 2014 at 11:10 AM

    All you dudes clowning Roy just might eat your words later on. If Indy gets past Atl Roy could once again become a major factor. The dude hasn’t forgotten how to play basketball overnight. Miami still doesn’t have an answer for him…that was proven in March when he completely dominated Greg “the Designated Roy Stopper” Oden. He who laughs last just might be laughing the loudest.

    • jimeejohnson - May 2, 2014 at 11:12 AM

      Lakers were a funny joke this season.

      • kb2408 - May 2, 2014 at 11:33 AM

        Yes, the LAKERS were a joke the last two seasons, that’s irrelevant to the topic. But since you went there, what’s not a joke is those 16 Banners hanging up in the Staples. Miami will never reach 16 titles! And LBJ will not match Kobe’s FIVE rings either. Let’s see who’s laughing at the end of this season.

    • antistratfordian - May 2, 2014 at 2:01 PM

      The last time Roy Hibbert played Miami he had 5 points and 1 rebound in 34 minutes. Hibbert’s issue has nothing to do with Atlanta – he’s been struggling against everybody for quite some time now (over the last month of the season he averaged 8.6 points, 4.1 rebounds on .336 shooting).

  12. tmac4454 - May 2, 2014 at 11:53 AM

    I love the youngins from OKC…I want Durant to act like he is the MVP for the rest of this series. Drive, go to the hole and make Memphis foul you. He is a pure shooter but when the shots does not fall, he needs to change his game plan instead of letting the media create news that Tony is putting that D on him. Good luck with Game 7, rooting for you youngins….

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