Kevin Durant and James Harden are in a duel for the ages.
In the NBA playoff second-round series between the Warriors and Houston Rockets, Durant and Harden are averaging 36 and 35.8 points per game, respectively, through four games this series. That has never happened before in NBA playoff history, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.
Harden and Durant are scoring machines.
According to @EliasSports this is the 1st time in NBA history that opposing players have averaged 35+ PPG in the first four games of a playoff series. pic.twitter.com/Zc7WwVfBFX— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) May 7, 2019
And to think: Both of these guys were on the same team at point.
The stat will pain Oklahoma City Thunder fans, but is music to the Warriors and Rockets' respective ears. Although neither player is shooting as efficiently as they did in the regular season, both are shouldering significant loads. Harden's second-round usage rate, a whopping 38.7 percent, is the highest of every player remaining in the postseason. Durant is third, with a usage rate of 32 percent in four second-round games.
Durant led the Warriors with 34 points in their 112-108 loss in Monday's Game 5, while Harden paced the Rockets with 38. Dating back to the start of the playoffs, Durant (35.4 points per game) and Harden (31.3) are first and third, respectively, in playoff scoring. Assuming those numbers hold, the former teammates would shatter their career highs in playoff scoring.
One of them has only two or three games remaining in their season, however. The Rockets tied the best-of-seven series 2-2 with their second straight victory in Houston on Monday, and the 2018 Western Conference finals rematch is now a best-of-three.
If the first four games are any indication, the loser of Durant vs. Harden will go down swinging.