Shades of the greatest | Inquirer Sports

Shades of the greatest

/ 05:26 AM April 30, 2019

Kevin Durant did it all in Game 1, blocking this layup by James Harden in the second half. —AP

OAKLAND—Steve Kerr saw his share of spectacular postseason performances playing alongside one of the greatest ever.

“There was this guy named Michael, I can’t remember his last name,” the Golden State coach cracked in reference to former Bulls teammate Michael Jordan.

Kevin Durant is having a superb postseason run of his own.

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Durant scored 35 points in outdueling James Harden and the Warriors held off the Houston Rockets, 104-100, on Sunday in the opener of what is shaping up to be a sensational best-of-seven Western Conference semifinal.

“When he’s being as aggressive as he’s been, I don’t think there’s anyone in the NBA, maybe the world, who can stop him,” Draymond Green said of the two-time reigning NBA Finals MVP.

Houston’s Chris Paul was ejected with 4.4 seconds left for a second technical, though he said afterward he wasn’t sure what he did wrong—and he wouldn’t say whether he made contact with official Josh Tiven while arguing.

“I don’t know yet. Nobody told me. He just called a tech,” said Paul, who had rebounded a missed three-pointer by Harden that could have tied the game with nine seconds left and was arguing for a foul.

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Green added 14 points, nine assists and nine rebounds for the two-time defending champion Warriors, who are meeting the Rockets in the postseason for the fourth time in five years, with Houston having never been victorious.

Game 2 is Tuesday night back at Oracle Arena.

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Harden scored 35 points and Eric Gordon 27 after both struggled early. The Rockets shot 14-for-47 from long range.

Harden’s three-point play with 40 seconds left pulled Houston within 100-98. Stephen Curry knocked down a three on the other end over Nene moments later and finished with 18 points, seven rebounds and four assists.

Durant, who had combined for 95 points the previous two games against the Clippers, shot 11-for-25 and made 12-of-15 free throws in his fifth straight 30-point playoff performance—matching his career-best streak accomplished from June 1-12, 2017.

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In Milwaukee, Kyrie Irving had 26 points and 11 assists, Al Horford added 20 points and 11 rebounds, and Boston cruised past Milwaukee, 112-90, in the opener of their second-round Eastern Conference series. —AP

TAGS: Basketball, Kevin Durant, National Basketball association

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