Kevin Ding of the Orange County Register reports:

Ron Artest defended Kevin Durant nicely

Ron Artest just played his Western Conference championship series and won it. He won’t have to work this hard to earn his keep again until the Lakers face the other elite scorer in the league: Cleveland’s LeBron James.

The Lakers might not play any team that tough the rest of the way through the West, either. With that in mind, what Artest just did for them is even more meaningful.

To understand just how great a series Artest had on defense, look at Kevin Durant’s stats: 35 percent field-goal shooting after 47.6 percent in the regular season. Durant’s assist-to-turnover ratio was 14-to-22.

This is a guy who went more than two months of the regular season (29 consecutive games) never scoring fewer than 25 points, something no one has done since Michael Jordan in 1986-87. It’s no coincidence that in the two games in this series the Lakers won comfortably, Durant couldn’t reach 25.