Giannis: Durant is the best player in the world right now
Brooklyn Nets power forward Kevin Durant (7) reacts after being fouled late during the fourth quarter of Game 5 of the second round of the 2021 NBA Playoffs. Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Giannis Antetokounmpo: Kevin Durant is the best player in the world right now

At one point, Los Angeles Lakers superstar LeBron James was considered the best player in the world. Right now, though, Milwaukee Bucks big man Giannis Antetokounmpo believes it's someone else. 

After a 114-108 loss to the Brooklyn Nets in Game 5 on Tuesday night, Antetkounmpo lauded Kevin Durant, who had a historic performance at Barclays Center. 

Durant arguably had his best-ever playoff performance on Tuesday. The 32-year-old finished with 49 points, 17 rebounds and 10 assists, making every clutch shot to keep the Nets ahead. It's even more impressive that he put up monster numbers with James Harden injured and Kyrie Irving sidelined. 

Nets head coach Steve Nash concurred with Antetokounmpo's assessment of Durant, calling him one of the "all-time greats."

"It's ridiculous what he's able to do," Nash said, according to ESPN's Tim Bontemps. "We know he's capable of nights like this, but to do it tonight ... we lose [Irving], James obviously is going through his ailments, we're down bodies, we're wounded. And for him to have that toughness, that mentality, that's what makes him one of the all-time greats.

"This is a performance that's a signature performance for Kevin, and it was beautiful to watch."

Thanks to Durant, the Nets can now close out the series in Game 6 on Thursday and make it to the Eastern Conference Finals for the first time since the 2002-03 season. 

Erin Walsh is a Boston sports fan through and through. She graduated Summa Cum Laude from Bridgewater State University and currently is in pursuit of her Master's Degree in Journalism from Northeastern University. Follow her on Twitter @ewalsh90.

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