Kevin Durant’s play in the fourth quarter of Sunday’s game against the Spurs was nothing short of sensational. Not only did he outscore the entire Spurs team in the fourth quarter, he single-handedly carried the Thunder to a 111-97 win at home to even the series at two apiece.
Durant’s evening, however, started off rather slow, and the Thunder trailed 27-17 after just one quarter of play. Kawhi Leonard was the catalyst for San Antonio and punched in eight points on 3/5 shooting; LaMarcus Aldridge was just as big, contributing seven points of his own on 3/7 from the field. The Durantula started off just 1/3 for four points, and his wingman, Russell Westbrook, was 1/5 himself as the Thunder shot 37.5% from the field.
As the second quarter rolled around, Oklahoma City was able to find their offense and put up 28 points to the Spurs’ 26. Durant had eight points despite being 3/9 from the field, and Dion Waiters had eight points as well off the bench on 3/4 shooting. Westbrook was still having issues with scoring but got his teammates involved and did a great job facilitating as he dished out five dimes. Tony Parker was looking like his old self and led the Spurs, along with Leonard, with seven points to help San Antonio maintain their lead heading into the break. At the conclusion of the first half, the Spurs led 53-45.
The offensive output remained remarkably high out of the intermission, and the Thunder were able to lead the scoring category, 32-28. Durant started to get hot, very hot. In the period, he contributed 12 points on 4/7 shooting and 4/4 from the free throw line. Westbrook had his most productive scoring quarter and put up more points (7) than he had in the first half (5); he also added four assists to secure a double-double. San Antonio was just as superb, and the only difference came at the foul line where OKC had six makes to San Antonio’s two. Leonard, Aldridge, and Parker each had six while Boris Diaw had five off the bench.
The Thunder trailed 81-77 going into the fourth. And then Kevin Durant had his explosion. With his mother sitting on the sideline cheering him on, the former MVP took over the fourth quarter and captivated an incredibly raucous hometown crowd. Being six-of-six from the field, including two-of-two from three, nothing was able to stop Durant; not even the two-time Defensive Play of the Year could keep him in check. In fact, the free throw line was the only thing that gave Durant issues as he shot a very uncharacteristic 3/6. As he finished up his 17-point outbreak, the sea of white shirts handed out a deafening ovation that culminated with his mom breaking out a couple of dance moves for her son.
Durant tied his playoff career-high with 41 points on 14/25 from the field. Dion Waiters and Enes Kanter combined for 28 points off the bench were also a huge part of their victory; Russell Westbrook dished out 15 assists to repent for his shooting struggles: 14 points, 5/18 FG, 1/3 3FG. Tony Parker was San Antonio’s leading scorer with 22, and Leonard and Aldridge had 21 and 20 respectively.
Game 5 is set for Tuesday, May 10, at 8:00 PM EST in San Antonio.