Kevin Durant has no more dragons to slay

Kevin Durant #7 of the Brooklyn Nets celebrates after he is fouled late in the fourth quarter against the Milwaukee Bucks during game 5 of the Eastern Conference second round at Barclays Center on June 15, 2021 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

Kevin Durant has nothing more to prove, no validation necessary to show he belongs at the top of the NBA mountain, no asterisks and no questions.

But in a playoff where extraordinary performances have ranged from the new guard emerging to an old guard looking to navigate new territory, Durant delivered the signature performance of the postseason and possibly of his stellar career in Brooklyn’s 114-108 win over Milwaukee.

It was almost like he sat and watched Game 5 of the Eastern Conference semifinals, while firmly being in it, reading the game and stalking the moment — waiting for the perfect time to strike.

“It did look that way,” Durant said. “I always try to be aggressive to get to my spots and I think that settles my teammates down as well. Like previous games, I may have forced a couple shots over two people when I could’ve thrown out for hockey assists.”

He defended the rim with his long arms, hardly fouling. Durant often located the open man — notably, Jeff Green — when everyone in Barclays Center was waiting on him to take over. It wasn’t just poise, or even maturity.