Durant Continues Hot Stretch


VIDEO: Kia Player of the Month: Kevin Durant

By Jonathan Hartzell, NBA.com

Kevin Durant knew he needed to take on a larger role within the Oklahoma City Thunder offense once Russell Westbrook was forced to undergo a third knee surgery on December 27.

It’s one thing to know a larger contribution is needed, it’s another thing to do what Durant has done as of late. However, his improved play has not just been to help replace Westbrook, but also to prove he is more than just a top-three player in the NBA.

“People always say, ‘It’s cool, you’re top three, that’s cool. It’s alright to be a top three player in the world. There’s billions of people in this world and you’re top three? That’s pretty cool,’ ” Durant said during a recent profile on 60 Minutes. “I’m just tired of settling for that. I’m tired of saying that. Tired of hearing it.”

In the seven games since Westbrook’s surgery, Durant has proven his point. He’s averaging 35 points, 5.4 assists, 9.1 rebounds, 1.6 steals and 10.6 free-throw attempts per game over the stretch. He’s shooting 51.4 percent from the field and set the NBA season high for scoring twice with 48 points.

It’s been a masterful domination. Unfortunately, Durant can’t win games all by himself. The Thunder are just 4-3 over this stretch, including an embarrassing 112-101 defeat at the hands of the Utah Jazz, who hold the worst record in the Western Conference (although Serge Ibaka also missed this game with flu-like symptoms).

Westbrook hopes to return before the All-Star break. But if the Thunder hope to keep their slim lead on the first seed in the Western Conference (and home court throughout the playoffs), then they will need the rest of their roster to step-up their game alongside Durant.

33 Comments

  1. okc2014 says:

    Stop insulting Kevin Durant. He’s the 2nd best player in the NBA, he is not a ballhog, he wants everyone on his team to contribute. If they aren’t the whole game is on his shoulders. It’s not nice to talk about how skinny he is, and I have never seen him be a crybaby. All man!!! Go Thunder!!! Some of you are just drinking haterade because you are fans of loser teams like the Cavs, Mavericks, Knicks and Sacramento Kings!

  2. Duranthog says:

    LBj 4 season MVP, 2 finals MVP & 2 rings. Now tell me where is your durant? So where is your durant? Hahaha! This is no brainer a-hole! Do the math!!

  3. A-hole says:

    http://www.nba.com/cavaliers/stats/2006/nba_finals_stats.html <—– now tell me who carried who.. When your boy LBJ average 22 pts. Shooting 35% fg/game averaged 5.75 turnover pergame.. 20% on the three point line.. CAvs And spurs finals.. Oh guess what Drew gooden and zydrunas ilgauskus averaged double double shooting 50% fg/game.. Your boy LBJ aint as good as you think.. ^^ now tell me who's the better scorer and who is the volume shooter.. ^^

  4. Sixkram says:

    @ majk: well said bro!

  5. Sixkram says:

    @ josh: I agree with you 100% dude!
    @somebody: I disagree with you, because even you put great good scorers with Durant and Wesbrook still it won’t change because those 2 are volume shooters in short BALLHOGS! Look what happened to their team when HArden & Martin was there? Durant will never win a championship because durant only cares the scoring title!

    • A-hole says:

      You really think KD is a volume shooter? Even he shoots 50% per game, really? Volume shooter really? Wow! What a stupid fan you are.. This guy is hilarious! ^^ volume shooter huh? LOL!

  6. Majk says:

    Over the past year or two, Durant went from being a humble superstar baller to a p*$$y. He’s criticizing more, wining more … but he’s still not winning any more!

    I agree, there are a handful of players out there who could trow up 30-40 FGs a game and come to 50 points. But the point is, you can’t win titles with such guys in today’s NBA.
    Just look at the stats from the last evening:
    Durant was 14-34 vs.
    LeBron was 13-22

    Durant can compete/compare to Iverson (but I still enjoyed The Answer’s plays over KD’s …. more fun! I guess KD is top scorer, but far from being a top overall player who can make your team better and win you a title).

    • A-hole says:

      Comparing guys within a game is really stupid.. Your boy LeFlop aint no better scorer than kd.. Tell your boy to join the 50-40-90 club if he can.. Lol now we’re gonna talk.. Talent will last longer than pure atlethism.. When LeFlop’s body no longer has the speed and strenght to tank his way to the rim where is he gonna rely to? Answer that and you might figure the talent on skilled players in the league.. Your boy Leflop might go to his best skill and that is flop.. At age 34 he will be putting numbers like Andre Iguoudala at best remember that .. He aint even close at AI’s on-ball defense.. What an overrated defender your boy is.. Lol stats dont lie!

  7. somebody says:

    Its pretty simple when you look at it. Okc is basically the Durant and westbrook show with minor players who help them. Take one of them off, your offence is almost halved. its difficult to carry the load of this team as Durant is the point guard, the scorer, and the coach. OKC needs some real scorers and can’t rely on 2 guys, who score everything and create for the rest. Last night it was evident that despite his big scoring numbers no one else could do anything. You can’t blame Durant for the loss, he did everything he could.

  8. josh says:

    and this is why Lebron is better then KD, the cavs were never as good as what he has around him, and Lebron never took that many shots, yet his team was the best every year.

  9. Sixkram says:

    Yes, they can score big every game because Skinny Malnourish Durant, kobe and melo are top 3 ballhogs of all time! If LBJ will do 34 FG with his efficiency, no doubt he score more than 50 pts if he wants to!! No brainer..

    • Maritn Minkovski says:

      Yeah, the thing about Lebron’s efficiency is that he picks his shots quite carefully because he has so many helping team members. If Lebron is put in similar circumstances his FG would drop below 50% and his PPG overall would be less than Durant. Kobe and Durant are much more versatile and skilled scorers than Lebron. On top of that Durant is devouring Lebron in almost every existing statistical category in the NBA.

  10. OKC4Life says:

    There is no player who can score at will in the entire NBA like my boy Durant, well, Melo can, but that’s it… Or a healthy, non rattled Kobe.

  11. lbj says:

    Trade durant to da heat we will give u mario chalmrrs and ray allen and our neew linup would be lik dis

    PG) Norris Cole
    SG) Dywanne wayde
    SF)Kevvin Dyraant
    PF) Tha King Lebron James
    C) chris bosh

    • OKC4Life says:

      Why is it that you always think you’ll acquire star players with Chalmers and Allen? Get some knowledge, seriously.

  12. Not Impressed says:

    Funny thing about the Thunder … Harden leaves, becomes top player. Martin leaves … becomes good player (again).

    It’s Durant and Westbrook; it’s like they don’t want anyone to steal their thunder (get it). I think the team is going to do well but ultimately doomed to fail. No championship going their way while the terrible two suffocate their team mates.

  13. wtfff says:

    a special mention, 17-19 FT.I didn’t know besides LBJ, KD’s getting help from the refs. WOw

  14. wtfff says:

    i like how people say lebron is getting much help from the refs when he rarely goes to the FT line. KD is getting big numbers cos as much as the game implied, he shot 34 fgs plus the frequent trips to the FT line. How is he the MVP?

  15. dustydreamnz says:

    It looked like they weren’t interested til the 4th quarter. Where was Steven Adams?

  16. basketball fan says:

    If melo or kobe did this (or someone else), everyone would be critizizing how they are ballhogs and selfish. When durant do this the headline is : Durant cant do it by himself or durants huge game. People are really stupid and naive to believe this nonsense that nba media writes everyday. Reporters who dont know s#!t about basketball are promoting players like lebron and durant in order to increase sales. Ofcourse there was never any player who did it by himself and probably never will be.
    btw i got nothing against any player

    NBA – where marketing happens

    • basketball fan says:

      To add to my point, if lebron would posterize someone the way durant got posterized today it would be in headlines all over the page. Also they would write articles about how lebron is great that he did this. Lol is like the espn, just make stuff up and write about it, people are stupid enough to believe so why not.

    • the real says:

      This is the truth lebrons title “the best player on the planet” is a marketing ploy and idiot fans keep falling for it

  17. Sixkram says:

    Ballhoger of all time!! Hahahaha.. You will never ever beat Lebron for MVP!! Looser..

  18. spguide says:

    Guess now the midia won’t be saying that the OKC bench is deeper then ever anymore . It was about time they stop implying that, cause it isn’t . Without Westbrook and Ibaka OKC would have problems to beat any team in the league even with Durant putting monster numbers every night .

    • KoolESP says:

      Isn’t that true for every team though? Remove two of the top three scorers (and defenders?) and any team will suffer. Come on man.

      • leo says:

        that’s the difference between LBJ and KD….LeBron did carry Cavs by himself but Durant can’t.

  19. Ok swag says:

    He had no team around him today

  20. JBLS says:

    Reggie Jackson isn’t capable yet of playing the starting role. I think it would be better if DFish would be the starting PG then Jackson would still come off the bench.

  21. dirk45 says:

    34 shooting attempts in 45 minutes. Kobe and Melo will be proud of him.