Many wondered whether the Nets would get All-NBA Kevin Durant, or merely All-Star KD.
On Friday, he flashed MVP KD.
In an impressive 123-95 road rout of Boston, Durant poured in 29 points on 9 of 16 shooting, and 3 of 4 from deep. Playing against Durant, Boston power forward Tristan Thompson picked up three fouls in the first quarter and never did find a way to slow the Nets star.
“The isolation defense on Kevin Durant is an issue for every person in the world. That’s how good Kevin Durant is,” Celtics coach Brad Stevens said.
“It just came [to me]. I got it in my hands and I just tried to be aggressive going downhill,” said Durant, who was biding his time in a first half that saw the Nets run more pick-and-rolls with Kyrie Irving. “I felt like I was just waiting for more opportunities in the second half to just be aggressive to shoot. I was able to knock some down.”
Durant, in only his second regular-season game since rupturing his Achilles in June 2019, took over late with 16 points in the third quarter alone on 6 of 7 shooting.
“It’s still impressive to watch after all these years. Just his length, his skill, his mobility, his athleticism; it’s an incredible package,” Steve Nash said. “For him to have runs like that is nothing for him in his mind. For mere mortals in this game in the NBA, it’s impossible to think of sometimes. So, yeah, an incredible run there.”
The Nets have off Saturday before a back-to-back Sunday at Charlotte and Monday versus the Grizzlies. Durant said he hasn’t talked to the performance team yet, but is hoping to play against the Hornets.
Joe Harris was a plus-23, while Jarrett Allen had nine points, a game-high 11 rebounds and a game-high four blocks off the bench.
Nash said he hasn’t spoken to Allen specifically about the team not agreeing to a rookie extension with the young center.
“We’re focused on the season,” Nash said. “He has a bright future. He’s going to have a big contract whenever the time is. We’re just trying to figure out who we are as a team.
“The guy was unbelievable. He was good in the first half, he was special in the second half. That’s what it’s going to take to win, especially as we’re forming here, is special efforts; and man, he was good. Defensively, protecting the rim, loose balls, rebounding at both ends, he was outstanding. We’re proud of him and he’s continuing and improving at this stage of his career.”