The Oklahoma City Thunder are in the NBA Finals after a startling 107-99 Game 6 win over the top-seeded San Antonio Spurs, who led by 15 at halftime. It was the kind of second-half performance that could go on to define their playoff run, should they go on to win the championship. As many commentators said, it was like Kevin Durant (34 points and 14 rebounds) and the rest of the young Thunder were turning into men before our eyes.
However, when the game was well in hand, Kevin Durant focused on being a son rather than a conquering hero. After dishing out a key assist for a Kendrick Perkins dunk and seeing James Harden grab the rebound from a missed Manu Ginobili 3-pointer, Durant walked over to his mother Wanda and two brothers Tony and Rayvonne for a family hug. It was a touching scene, as well as a fitting cap to a remarkable performance for one of the league's brightest and most likable stars. After the jump, read Durant's thoughts on the moment, as quoted by Jeff Latzke of the Associated Press:
''I never want to take those moments for granted,'' Durant said. ''I know it's just one step closer to our dreams, but it felt good.''
Then again, the game wasn't over — the Thunder were up six points with 14.6 seconds remaining and Harden heading to the line, but we've seen crazier comebacks in NBA history. Had the Spurs pulled off a miraculous comeback, the Durant family hug would've looked downright foolish. As a contrast, just imagine how much criticism LeBron James might receive for doing the same with time left on the clock in a series-clinching game. As a wise man once said, it ain't over 'til it's over.
The Thunder didn't lose, of course, and Durant's actions just make him seem like more of a good guy than he already did. We should celebrate what he's accomplished and the debt that he owes his family for their support. But it's important to remember that, if the game had ended differently, Durant might have ended up looking just as arrogant as players some claim are destroying the NBA.
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