Kevin Durant’s impending free agency hovered over the Thunder’s season from training camp up until their elimination in the Western Conference finals, but general manager Sam Presti credited Durant on Monday with controlling the noise and speculation about his future.
“I also think Kevin deserves a tremendous amount of credit for the way he’s handled his affairs, because what it really did was it allowed our team to focus on the season and really made the season we had possible,” Presti said. “I thought it was a tremendous example of a franchise player putting the franchise first. I thought it was also a tremendous example of leadership on his part, because we’re not able to have that season unless he’s handling his affairs the way that he did.”
Source: Royce Young of ESPN
Antetokounmpo’s Late Tip-in Wins Game for Bucks to Even Series
Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo scored 27 points in Sunday’s Game 4 win over the Boston Celtics, but it was his offensive rebound and tip-in off a Malcolm Brogdon miss that gave the Bucks a lead with 5.1 seconds left, and ultimately a 104-102 win.
“At the end of the day in the playoffs, we know we have the best player on the floor,” Brogdon said of Antetokounmpo. “So we rely on him, and he comes through.”
Source: Nick Friedell of ESPN
John Wall Helps Wizards Even Series After Beal Fouls Out Late
An infuriated Bradley Beal held his head in disgust and was literally hopping mad at officials who called his sixth and final foul with 4:58 remaining in Game 4 after Toronto Raptors guard DeMar DeRozan ran into him chasing down an offensive rebound.
With the game and potentially their season hanging in the balance, the Washington Wizards managed to overcome the loss of their leading scorer and what they believed were “soft calls” by the officiating crew to even their best-of-seven series with a 106-98 win over the Raptors. Washington finished the game with a 14-6 John Wall-fueled run to win extend its postseason home winning streak to eight.
Source: Ohm Youngmisuk of ESPN
Spurs’ Parker, Ginobili Make Playoff History with Win Over GSW
Before the start of the NBA playoffs, no other player age 40 or older had scored double figures off the bench in a postseason game. Manu Ginobili has now done that twice, and has earned win No. 132, giving him and Tony Parker the most playoff wins together of any teammates in NBA history.
“Of course, the feeling of the last quarter was great because we were all doing good,” Ginobili said after scoring 16 points on 5-of-10 shooting to help San Antonio defeat the Warriors 103-90 and force Game 5 on Tuesday in Oakland, California.
Source: Michael C. Wright of ESPN