Kevin Durant plays well against the Nuggets. Check that; Kevin Durant vs Denver is morphing into Jordan vs Cavaliers 2.0. Last night Durant scored a personal best 51 points against the Nuggets in all manner possible. Even when the Thunder went down by five points with under a minute to play, we could see Durant's demeanor in the huddle. He was not panicked but was encouraging his teammates to hold themselves together, almost as if he knew that if they could just get one defensive stop in the final minute of play, that Durant would be able to tie the game. Finally, once he helped bring the Thunder into overtime, he and his All-Star teammate Russell Westbrook took it home.
I still struggle to try and conceptualize this tremendous game, so en lieu of that, here are some of my favorite quotes that came out of last night's battle:
"That's probably one of the best regular-season games that I've played in since I've been here, or the best. Kevin had 50, Russell had 40 and Serge had a triple-double. What else can you say?" - James Harden
"Now, it doesn't stop. Once he gets it, it's going to come naturally to him... He's a natural-born scorer."- Russell Westbrook
"We were kind of laughing and saying, 'When was the last time he missed a shot in the fourth quarter against us?' He makes everything." - George Karl
"There's an offensive rebound. Why does he come wide open? Why can't someone else come wide open?" - George Karl
"I was really going to try to end the game and shoot the 3. It might have been a bad idea. But Chris Andersen is a great shot-blocker, and I think if I would have shot that one he would have got it. He pressed up on me a little bit and I was able to get a lane to the basket. I just tried to finish strong because he blocked like three of my shots." - Durant on his final regulation basket
After the game, Durant ran over to the sideline and hugged his mom.
"They’ve been there with me ever since I was 8 trying to play this game...To score 50 points with them on the sideline at the highest level of basketball, man, is just a dream come true. It’s a blessing. To go through it with them is pretty cool. To be honest, I didn’t think I would be at this point when I was young. Everything has just been a whirlwind for me. I’m just happy that I’m here."