Durant scores 50 in series-clinching win vs. Clips

LOS ANGELES — Golden State Warriors superstar Kevin Durant scored 50 points in a dominating 129-110 series-clinching win over the LA Clippers on Friday night in Game 6 of their Western Conference first-round playoff.

Durant’s performance put him in rarefied air within NBA history. With his 38 first-half points, Durant tied Phoenix Suns forward Charles Barkley for second-most points in a half. Barkley scored 38 in the first half of a 1994 playoff game. The pair trails only former Warriors guard Sleepy Floyd, who scored 39 points in the second half of a 1987 playoff game against the Suns. Durant reached 31 points with 5 minutes, 30 seconds left in the first half, the fastest any player has reached that mark in terms of game clock over the past 20 postseasons, according to ESPN Stats & Information research.

Durant, who scored 45 points in Game 5, became just the fourth player in the past 30 postseasons to score 45 points or more in consecutive games. The only other players to do so are Oklahoma City Thunder guard Russell Westbrook (2018), Los Angeles Lakers star Kobe Bryant (2001) and Chicago Bulls legend Michael Jordan, who scored at least 45 in three straight games in 1990.

Durant also became just the fourth player in Warriors history to have 50 or more in a playoff game. The only other players to accomplish that feat are Rick Barry, Wilt Chamberlain and Floyd.

Durant finished the game shooting 15-for-26 from the field, 6-for-14 from beyond the 3-point line and 14-for-15 from the free throw line, but also chipped with in six rebounds, five assists, a block and a steal. He scored or assisted on 45 of the Warriors’ 72 points in the first half. He was very active on the defensive end throughout the game, helping the Warriors gain an edge that had been missing throughout much of Game 5.

With the win, Durant and the Warriors advance to the Western Conference semifinals against the Houston Rockets — a rematch of last year’s conference finals. Game 1 is Sunday afternoon at Oracle Arena in Oakland.

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