The 2012 Playoffs don't stop, as the twentieth day is already behind us. Once again, there were two played games. One of them was extremely intense with a dramatic finish and the other was very similar to that, as both games were played in LA.
There were such players that played beyond the expectations and helped their respective teams. Others had similar performances, however their excellence couldn't help their teams to get the win. Nonetheless, they get recognized on this list.

Who ranks on top? Without any further ado, let's start.

5. Tim Duncan
Tim Duncan, one of the top veterans in the leagues currently, continued his excellence in the playoffs with yet another outstanding performance. He was arguably the biggest contributor to the Spurs' third consecutive win over the Clippers on the road.
Tim proved to be still a mismatch for his opponents in the post with his skills and footwork. He was brilliant in the post, as he connected on his shots. He was also excellent on the glass, established as a presence in his own paint defensively as he alerted and swatted some shots.

Duncan scored 19 points, grabbed 13 boards, dished out four assists, blocked three shots, shot 8-16 from the field, 3-5 from the free throw line and committed a turnover in 38 minutes. From a statistical point of the view, it's a nice performance.

4. Blake Griffin 
Blake Griffin, who's been quiet in this playoff series due to injuries and the Spurs' defense, finally broke out of his slump with an outstanding performance. Unfortunately, it wasn't enough, as he and his Clippers failed to get the win.
Blake started out the game quite nicely. He was aggressive, effective in the post where he did most of the work and finished inside on high efficiency. He established as a presence on the defensive end with his shot blocking skills and interior defense while providing the usual excellence on the glass.

Griffin scored 26 points, pulled down 18 boards, blocked three shots, dished out two assists, recorded two steals, shot 13-24 from the field, 2-2 from the stripe and committed two turnovers in 43 minutes of action out there. Stat wise, he was brilliant.

On any normal list this 26/18 performance, despite the loss, would have been ranked higher. However, the standard was raised here.

3. Kobe Bryant 
Picking it up where he left in Staples, Lakers' superstar two guard, Kobe Bryant continued in the same way against the Thunder in Game Four of the 2012 Western Conference Semifinals. Unfortunately, he and his Lakers lost in a dramatic finish.
Kobe played aggressive throughout the entire game, as he carried the team offensively and was displayed his skill set quite nicely. He was excellent in nearly all the aspects of basketball. Stat wise, this may has been his best one yet.

Bryant poured in 38 points, grabbed eight boards, dished out five dimes, shot 12-28 from the field, 0-2 from the distance, 14-17 from the free throw line and committed two turnovers in exact 40 minutes of play which is definitely an amazing game for him.

He'll have to have similar performances for his LA to win the next game.

2. Russell Westbrook
One of the few guys in the league who've taken their games to the next level in the playoffs, Thunder's point guard Russell Westbrook continued to shine. He definitely was out of the ordinary in Game Six against the Lakers, as he led his team to the nice win.
Russell was excellent throughout the entire match, especially on offense. He carried them on his back, found his touch from mid range, was decent from an all-around point of view and brilliant in the fourth quarter where he went off.

Westbrook scored 37 points, dished out five assists, grabbed two boards, had a steal, shot 15-26 from the field, 1-2 from three point land, 6-7 from the stripe and committed only a turnover in 43 minutes of action out there. Stat wise, this performance has been his best so far.

He definitely carried the Thunder late and didn't let his opponents to beat them. He could have gone at No.1 but I've decided to give that spot to another guy.

1. Kevin Durant
The No.1 spot goes to this guy, who's arguably the biggest reason why the Thunder shocked the Lakers in Game Six. His name is well known. Kevin Durant gets the nod rightfully thanks to his brilliant overall and clutch performance again.
Kevin was in a great shooting rhythm throughout the entire game, finished with a bunch of points, was terrific on the glass, on defense etc. In other words, he was outstanding on both sides of the court and was nearly everywhere out there.

Durant poured in 31 points, pulled down 13 boards, dished out two assists, recorded two steals, blocked a shot, committed three turnovers, shot 10-18 from the field, 3-4 from deep and 8-10 from the free throw line in 46 minutes of action.

Stat wise, that's another brilliant game for the sweet shooting forward. He's been playing nicely in this series and his efficiency has been out of the charts.

Darko Mihajlovski is a columnist at FootBasket. He also contributes to Hoops-Nation. You can read more about him at our Staff page.


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