LeBron James is playing "next-level basketball" and will give the Golden State Warriors plenty to think about in the NBA Finals, says Kevin Durant.
Durant scored a game-high 34 points as the Warriors rallied after a poor first half to defeat the Houston Rockets 101-92 in game seven of the Western Conference finals at Toyota Center.
That victory set up a fourth straight Finals meeting against the Cavs, who James inspired past the Boston Celtics over seven matches.
Asked if he was ready for the challenge of taking on the Cavs superstar, Durant told ESPN: "Yeah, no doubt. It's gonna be a fun one, exciting one.
"LeBron's playing – I can't even describe how he's playing, it's like next-level basketball so we got our work cut out for us."
Steve Kerr described the Warriors' opening period as "one of the worst quarters of basketball we've ever played" after they shot seven of 20 from the floor and two of 10 from three-point range.
Stephen Curry pinpointed the moment in the first half when Golden State came together and focused on turning things around, a process he led with 14 points in a sensational third quarter – just one point fewer than the Rockets as a whole.
"There was a moment in the first half, I think Draymond [Green] turned it over to James [Harden] in the transition and he got a dunk," said Curry at a post-match news conference.
"That's a point where you can have guys doing a lot of finger pointing and blaming and getting on their feelings. But there was a moment during that timeout after coach called it, where it was just really productive.
"Everybody was like, 'Let's just move on. Get it together, find a way to get through this little rough patch and just find ourselves.' It just took a while.
"So I think that moment it could have splintered, to be honest. It could have been a moment where guys went their separate ways.
"But I think the way that we fought all year and the way that this team is built with the chemistry we have, that got us through that little rough patch. I think we used that to our advantage."
On his explosion early in the second half, he added: "Obviously I've been playing well in the third quarter this series.
"You have to have endurance, you've got to have resiliency, you've got to have confidence in yourself, no matter how the game's going up until that point, that you can turn it around.
"It's been great to come out of the locker room kind of focused, locked in, made some shots, get some stops, and just have fun. Obviously, thankfully with the way the first half went, it was like clockwork, so it was good."