Durant erupts for 50 points as Warriors close out series with Clippers
Golden State will face Houston in West semis
Kevin Durant scored 38 of his playoff career-high 50 points in the first half, Draymond Green had a triple-double, and the Golden State Warriors dominated in closing out the Los Angeles Clippers 129-110 Friday night to win their first-round series 4-2.
Golden State found itself in the unfamiliar position of trying to win a third road game in a playoff series for the first time in franchise history. Durant set the tone with his 38 points that tied for the second-most points in a half in a playoff game.
He was 12 of 17 from the floor, made all 10 of his free throws and sank four three-pointers in leading the Warriors to a 72-53 advantage.
Kevin Durant’s 38 pts in the half of a playoff game are 3 more than steve nash’s 35 in 2005 vs Dallas. It’s not nearly as impressive though because there are more possessions in today’s game. And because Kevin Durant is taller and better at basketball.—@SteveNash
Durant had a vicious block of Danilo Gallinari in the fourth that left both of them on the floor. On the Warriors' next possession, Durant converted a three-point play.
The Clippers fought off elimination with a 129-121 win on the Warriors' home floor in Game 5, but aside from a game-opening burst and another to start the second half they couldn't make a stand in front of their crowd.
Durant's 45 points on Wednesday were his previous career playoff high.
Stephen Curry added 24 points and Green had 16 points, 14 rebounds and 10 assists for his fifth career playoff triple-double, despite five fouls. Klay Thompson was limited to nine points with three fouls. Durant got his fourth foul in the fourth.
With Kevin Durant's 50 PTS tonight, he and Damian Lillard become the first two players in <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/NBAPlayoffs?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#NBAPlayoffs</a> history to record 50+ points in series-clinching games during the same postseason. <a href="https://t.co/SFDUaNdx0a">pic.twitter.com/SFDUaNdx0a</a>—@nbastats
The Warriors repeatedly burned the Clippers with dunks off alley-oop passes.
Los Angeles opened the game on an 18-8 run. Durant and Curry combined to score the Warriors' next nine points as part of a 21-5 burst that put them ahead for good.
Gallinari led the Clippers with 29 points and Canadian rookie Shai Gilgeous-Alexander added 22.
Lou Williams and Montrezl Harrell, the NBA's highest-scoring bench combo, were never a factor. Williams shot 3 of 21 for eight points and Harrell was 4 of 7 for 10 points and five fouls. The two reserves scored a combined 57 points on 23-for-33 shooting in Game 5.
Gallinari and Gilgeous-Alexander powered the Clippers' 17-10 spurt that opened the third and pulled them to 82-71.
But Golden State held the Clippers to seven points the rest of the quarter and took a 102-78 lead into the fourth. The Clippers cut their 24-point deficit nearly in half, but got no closer.