Durant wanted response from entire team, MVP got it…
The Oklahoma City Thunder levelled their series with the Los Angeles Clippers on Wednesday night after both Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook carried them to victory in Game 2.
Durant received his MVP trophy prior to tip-off and showed exactly why he earned it with 32 points, 12 rebounds and nine assists as the Thunder avoided a potentially devastating 2-0 deficit in this series.
The 25-year-old insisted that he wanted a response from everyone concerned with the Thunder after their disappointing loss in the opening game, and after calling team-mate Russell Westbrook an MVP-calibre player, the point guard backed up his words with 31 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists of his own.
Clippers guard Chris Paul conceded that Westbrook arguably played harder than all of his team combined, while Jamal Crawford admitted that it wasn’t a Clippers-style performance and they will look to rectify that in Game 3 in Los Angeles on Friday.
Over in the Eastern Conference, the Indiana Pacers also levelled their series with the Washington Wizards, with Roy Hibbert breaking out of his slump and producing the type of display that his team-mates had been calling for.
The Pacers center scored a season-high 28 points and grabbed nine rebounds while he also blocked two shots and played a role in various other defensive schemes to provide the hosts with a boost to move to 1-1 in the series.
The big test will now be whether or not Hibbert can repeat that level of performance in Game 3 in Washington on Friday, but after going some way to silencing the critics, he will undoubtedly be more confident in his own game.
George Hill (14), Paul George (11 points, six rebounds and four assists) and Lance Stephenson (12) all contributed to the win while Washington finished 5-of-21 from behind the arc which was their lowest percentage in the playoffs this year.
Washington Wizards 82-86 Indiana Pacers
Los Angeles Clippers 101-112 Oklahoma City Thunder