Don’t believe it when you read that Kevin Durant just saved the series. Because I think he just saved the entire city. His 41 points on the Spurs just rescued all of OKC.
There was a lot more at stake there than just another loss to San Antonio. That was about losing KD to another town. That was bigger than losing a post season home game. It was beating back the idea that it was KD’s last home game in a Thunder gamer.
Facing arguably the biggest 4th quarter of the Durant-Westbrook era, KD went into kill mode. He carried the entire team, he outscored the Spurs by himself, and he did it against the game’s best defender.
Kawhi Leonard was built in a basketball laboratory to play defense. But so was Durant to play offense. I never thought I would say this about Kawhi – but there was nothing he could do against this dude. There’s playing clutch to win a game, but this was playing clutch to alter an entire career; an entire franchise’s fate. Hell, an entire town’s existence… OKC loses that game, goes down 3-1, they’re not winning 3 straight to take the series. Their season’s over. Durant’s free agency begins.
And is he really gonna come back to OKC when the best they can do is a second round gentleman’s sweep? The Thunder didn’t just beat the Spurs in that game, they held off all KD’s suitors.
They kept Durant’s boy Scott Brooks from getting at him to come home and play for in Washington. And kept both Golden State and San Antonio from landing him and create an unbeatable basketball Voltron.
Or maybe all he did was stall the inevitable. Maybe one of those powers still get him. Maybe he does go back home to Baltimore. I’m not saying a huge win like that changes everything and that now he’s staying. But I am saying a loss last night and he may have had one foot out the door. And that win kept that pin in the grenade for at least two more games. And OKC has to hope that win did a lot more than just keep them in the series. Who knows, maybe it did.