It's the human and fun side of our sports heroes

Kevin Durant is in the zone; facing the Rockets got him thrilled

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As the defending champions Golden State Warriors enjoy their 2-0 series lead against the Houston Rockets in the semifinals of the Western Conference, superstar Kevin Durant has never been more in his element and has thoroughly been thrilled facing off their tough tormentors.

In Game 1, the Warriors barely edged out the Rockets with 104-100, but Game 2 had them unleashing an explosion with 115-109. Durant score 35 points in their first match-up while he contributed 29 points in their latest face-off.

“This is where this s–t is fun, this is when it’s serious and I’m just embracing it,” Durant told Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports. “I’m just having so much fun right now. This time of year is what I’m geared for. I’m just hooping at a high level and enjoying the competitiveness of the playoffs. You go through such a long season to get to this point, and now it’s time to produce.”

The highly competitive nature of the playoffs and fighting against strong opponents has brought out the intense offensive skills of Durant, and the reigning Finals MVP is more focused now more than ever. The preparation and strategy-making that the regular season didn’t require much are now what makes Durant relish the postseason more. He’s had to thoroughly analyze his opponents this time and make sure that each of his offensive and defensive contributions count, and when Durant steps up his game, that’s when he is happiest.

“In the playoffs, we have individual assignments, and it’s up to us collectively to execute. And me, I’m just doing what’s asked of me, whether that’s scoring, making plays for others or defending. I get so much joy playing this game, and I’m doing it to the best of my ability.”

It’s not going to be all rainbows and butterflies for the Warriors though, as the seven-game series gives the Rockets a chance to take over and steal the throne from them. However, if Durant continues to play formidably at a level this high, it also won’t be easy for anyone to take down Golden State. Game 3 will be held at Houston on Sunday (Manila time).
(Janiel Abby Toralba)