Durant put up a shot over the top of James Harden, but as he made his way back down the court he immediately started limping. Durant didn't return for the rest of the third quarter, and the Rockets took full advantage of that by drawing level with Golden State.
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The team then announced that Durant has instead suffered a right calf strain, which will come as a relief to the Warriors franchise. However, the injury will still keep him from returning for the remainder of Game 5, which could prove costly for Golden State. Durant had 22 points, five rebounds and four assists through 32 minutes before being forced to go off the court.
Still, the severity of Durant's calf sprain could determine how much time he misses in these playoffs. Durant is a great passer and rebounder: his 3.
Everyone involved in letting Kevin Durant play Game 5 deserves blame
If we go strictly by the "numbers," this year's Mr. Clutch belongs to Durant—by a wide mile. According to the website, 82Games. Clutch is defined as: fourth quarter or overtime, less than five minutes left and neither team ahead by more than five points.
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In other words, Durant is the most productive player in the league in these predetermined clutch situations. He averages Carmelo Anthony of the Knicks , at Other eye popping clutch stats show Durant shooting 42 percent from the field and 38 percent from three-point range, while Bryant's numbers are a numbing 28 and 20 percent. Even more telling is that Bryant coughs up the ball over six times per those 48 minutes of clutch time while Durant relinquishes the ball 2.
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About the only category where Kobe dominates Durant this year is in passing. Bryant averages 8.
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Is that considered "clutch"? You be the judge.
Having said all that, I cannot help but still believe that Kobe Bryant is actually the more clutch of the two players. The proof is in the proverbial pudding and no one has been more adept at winning games in spectacular fashion in the closing seconds than No.
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Ask most NBA pundits and coaches who comes to mind when they think of a closer—the player they'd most like to have with the ball when the game is on the line. The answer is usually Kobe Bryant.
Yes, I have read the statistics and listened to fans of the game who point out that Bryant's statistics down the stretch of close games are really not that good. But, to me, the mark of a great finisher, a clutch player, is that he'll stop at nothing until he finds a way to get the job done.