June 2, 2023

Unconscious Kevin Durant details hot-hand display that powers Nets in late-game burst over Pistons

Photo: Rick Osentoski/USA TODAY Sports

Kevin Durant caught a flamethrower on Sunday evening, pacing the Brooklyn Nets to a 124-121 road win over the Detroit Pistons with his 43-point output.

But his 26-point burst in the third frame served as the main catalyst for the Nets to mount a comeback against the Pistons. Down by as much as 19, Brooklyn slowly carved off a statement return en route to their seventh-straight win, with Kyrie Irving contributing his 38 markers.

As such, Durant was unconscious of the fact that he shot in a consistent number – draining 14 of his 22 total shots on the field. 

“I usually know how many shot attempts [I have],” Durant said, per ESPN’s Nick Friedell. “But when I forget that’s when I really know I’m super, super in the zone. I don’t know for sure what my shot attempts or my points are. I felt like the ball was coming to my hands so fast so I couldn’t even process it in my mind and I looked up, ‘Damn, I got 39.’ I didn’t think I had that much. But it was good to get back in the game and give us some momentum and energy.”

This season, Durant is now averaging 29.9 points in a career-high 56.2 percent shooting from the field. This splendid efficiency drew an inquiry if he feels that this ongoing stretch is the best throughout his hall-of-fame career.

“I just think mentally I understand the game a little bit more,” Durant said. “I’m not too surprised by anything that’s thrown at me. I could say I’m on a different level mentality-wise than I was as a younger player a few years ago. But I felt like I had some great stretches of basketball before, but this is pretty solid.

“I’m having fun, I’m knocking down some shots right now so I can’t compare, I try not to compare, but I feel mentally I’m getting better and I’m starting to understand the game on a different level than I did before.”

The Nets will head back to Brooklyn as they are slated for a face-off with the Golden State Warriors on Wednesday.