Warriors

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Warriors

Kevin Durant struggled offensively in Games 4 through 6 of the Western Conference Finals.

He went 9-for-24, 8-for-22 and 6-for-17 for a combined 36.5 percent from the field.

The 2017 Finals MVP wasn't particularly impactful on the defensive end either.

[LISTEN: Warriors Outsiders Podcast: Player-by-player breakdown of epic Game 7 win in Houston]

But everything changed in Game 7.

Durant scored a game-high 34 points. He was also efficient -- 11-for-21 overall and 5-for-11 from deep (it was the first time he made 5 3-pointers in these playoffs).

He also grabbed five rebounds, dished out five assists and blocked three shots (he had three blocks over the prior seven games combined).

But the statistic that really stands out and shows he was fully focused and engaged defensively:

Durant contested a game-high 19 shots (Draymond Green was second on the Warriors with 12).

The number of shots Durant contested in the series before Monday night:

-Game 1 = 9
-Game 2 = 7
-Game 3 = 8
-Game 4 = 6
-Game 5 = 3
-Game 6 = 10

After the win, the four-time scoring champion talked about the emotional roller-coaster he experienced vs the Rockets.

"The game is at a mental point in my career where I'm just trying to figure things out out there. I know what I can do physically ... they did such a good job at switching. I know the whole iso thing was a big thing around our team -- we talked about it a lot.

 

"For me, after the first two games, I just felt like I could get a lot in the switches and the mismatches. I thought they did a great job ... they started to bring guys over and help and shadow a bit and I wasn't seeing that for a couple games. I was running into crowds, I was forcing, I was going too fast on my drives and on my moves. And had me just thinking too much out there.

"When I just decided to just say forget it and just hoop and just play ball -- tonight I just tried to come out and just play as hard as I can on the defensive side of the ball and let my offense come around, whereas in games before I was thinking about my offensive coming into the game."

Drew Shiller is the co-host of Warriors Outsiders. Follow him on Twitter @DrewShiller