As the Golden State Warriors looked to close out their division rivals in the first round on Friday night, the two-time reigning Finals MVP put the team on his back in the first half. Durant scored 38 first-half points to give the Warriors a 72-53 lead at halftime.
The 38 points was the second-most points ever scored in a single half in NBA playoff history. The player who holds the record? None other than former Warriors guard Eric "Sleepy" Floyd, who scored 39 points in the second half in a Game 4 victory over the Los Angeles Lakers during the 1987 semifinals. Durant tied Charles Barkley for the most points scored in the first half of an NBA playoff game.
Kevin Durant's 38 first-half points ties the NBA record for most points in the first half of a playoff game, matching Charles Barkley's 38-point half at Golden State on May 4, 1994. Eric "Sleepy" Floyd holds the record for most points in any half of a playoff game with 39.— Warriors PR (@WarriorsPR) April 27, 2019
And for those who weren't watching the game, Durant was hit during his last 3-point attempt with 34.1 seconds remaining in the first half -- only for the referee to not call a foul. If a foul was called during that situation, it's probably safe to assume that he would have converted on the free-throw attempt to tie the overall record of 39 points in a single half.
Here are the highlights of Durant scoring 38 points in the opening half against the Clippers.
And as Durant bluntly put it after the end of the first half, he felt like he was in a zone where he couldn't be stopped.
The veteran small forward went 12-of-17 from the field, 4-of-8 from 3-point range and 10-of-10 from the free-throw line in the first half. Any time Durant puts on a performance like this, the Warriors are virtually unbeatable.