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Kevin Durant

  1. Video: Kevin Durant’s monster, win-sparking slam

    May 20, 2011, 8:47 AM EDT

    Oklahoma City Thunder v Dallas Mavericks - Game Two

    The best line I read about this dunk (and I couldn’t find the tweet later to credit the person) was that Kevin Durant used Brendan Haywood as his own personal Kia. The Thunder were struggling and this dunk sparked them and was the first step to them evening this series. One dunk does not a…

  2. NBA Playoffs: OKC takes Game 2 in Dallas

    May 20, 2011, 12:45 AM EDT

    kevin-durant-game-2

    Can one play, early in the first quarter of Game 2 of the Western Conference finals, change a series? The Oklahoma City Thunder certainly hope so. After falling behind by double digits early, Kevin Durant seemed to have had enough. With his Thunder looking sluggish and trailing by nine points with just over a minute…

  3. NBA Playoffs: Can anyone slow Nowitzki, Durant?

    May 19, 2011, 3:08 PM EDT

    Mavericks forward Nowitzki shoots a fade-away jump shot in the second half against Oklahoma during Game 1 of the NBA Western Conference Final basketball playoff in Dallas

    One player does not win a basketball game. But if Dallas or Oklahoma City can figure out a way to slow the other’s star player in this series — starting with Game 2 Thursday night — they will have a huge leg up. Because in Game 1 those two pretty much scored like Wilt in…

  4. Nike to start selling Kevin Durant backpacks. Of course they are.

    May 19, 2011, 10:28 AM EDT

    kevin-durant-backpack

    Kevin Durant shows up to his post-game press conferences dressed like an eager student ready to walk across the University of Texas campus to his Europe in the Twentieth Century history class. Complete with his backpack. Straps buckled across the front. That he leaves on the entire time. A backpack that you can soon own,…

  5. Is Westbrook’s perceived ‘selfishness’ a result of Brooks?

    May 18, 2011, 3:28 PM EDT

    Russell Westbrook

    Russell Westbrook has caught a lot of heat over the past couple weeks for his perceived “selfish” play, with many Twitter commenters suggesting the best defense against Kevin Durant is the fact he plays with Westbrook.  And while Tuesday’s 3-for-15 shooting performance isn’t going to help Westbrook’s cause, Durant’s struggles against Memphis, or the fact he took fewer shots than Westbrook…

  6. As Dirk dominates, Barea exemplifies strength of the Mavericks

    May 18, 2011, 2:38 AM EDT

    J.J. Barea

    Right about now, the Oklahoma City Thunder can probably identify with Andrew Bynum. Don’t get me wrong, Dirk Nowitzki was unquestionably the story in the Mavericks’ Game 1 Western Conference finals victory over the Thunder. While other national outlets were busy talking up the greatness of Derrick Rose during Dallas’ well-earned,  eight-day layoff after the…

  7. NBA Playoffs: Dirk dominates, but this series is just getting started

    May 18, 2011, 1:22 AM EDT

    Dirk Nowitzki

    Coming into this game the biggest matchup issue, the biggest strategy question that both teams faced was “Who can stop Dirk Nowitzki or Kevin Durant?” Turns out nobody. Durant had 40 points on just 18 shots — and he was the second best player in the game. And his team lost. Nowitzki finished a redonkulous…

  8. NBA Playoffs: Stopping Durant, Nowitzki just the start for Mavs, Thunder

    May 17, 2011, 4:13 PM EDT

    Dallas Mavericks power forward Dirk Nowitzki celebrates defeating the Los Angeles Lakers during Game 2

    It starts with the big questions — if the Dallas Mavericks and Oklahoma City Thunder can’t answer those questions, the little ones will not matter. That leads us to the big things to watch in Game 1 between the Thunder and Mavericks Tuesday night — can Dallas slow Kevin Durant, and can Oklahoma City slow…

  9. Can the Thunder slow down Dirk Nowitzki?

    May 16, 2011, 7:16 PM EDT

    Dallas Mavericks Nowitzki celebrates hitting a three-point shot in the second half against the Los Angeles Lakers during Game 3 of the NBA Western Conference semi-final basketball playoff in Dallas

    He has been the best player in the playoffs so far —26.5 points per game on 49.7 percent shooting, 60 percent from three. He destroyed Pau Gasol in the second round. And outside of hiring Jeff Gillooly, there may not be a good way for the Oklahoma City Thunder to slow down Dirk Nowitzki. Not…

  10. Western Conference Finals Preview: Mavericks vs. Thunder

    May 16, 2011, 3:21 AM EDT

    Oklahoma City Thunder's Durant hands the ball to Dallas Mavericks head coach Carlisle in the closing seconds of the second half of their NBA basketball game in Dallas

    SEASON RECORDS Mavericks: 57-25 (No. 3 seed in Western Conference) Thunder: 55-27 (No. 4 seed) SEASON SERIES Dallas won the regular season series 2-1, but the most recent of the games was Jan. 6 — back before the Kendrick Perkins trade, and when Caron Butler was healthy. Nowitzki didn’t play in the Thunder win. So…

  11. NBA Playoffs: Durant + Defense = Date with Dallas for Thunder

    May 15, 2011, 7:06 PM EDT

    Memphis Grizzlies v Oklahoma City Thunder - Game Seven

    No doubt, Kevin Durant was special Sunday. In the biggest game of his NBA career he remained undaunted through a slow start and hit 11 of his last 16 shots on his way to 39 points. He played smart, used back-door cuts to get easy baskets, and once he got rolling everything fell. But that’s…

  12. NBA Playoffs: Does Durant dominate Game 7 for Thunder?

    May 15, 2011, 10:53 AM EDT

    Oklahoma City Thunder v Memphis Grizzlies - Game Six

    Kevin Durant has played on big stages before. Just this past summer he led Team USA to gold in the World Championships for example. But his first ever NBA Game 7 is maybe his biggest stage yet, and if the Thunder are going to advance they need more out of him. With Tony Allen and…

  13. Dominant Zach Randolph returns to help Memphis force a Game 7

    May 14, 2011, 12:57 AM EDT

    zach-randolph-game-6

    As Zach Randolph goes, so go the Memphis Grizzlies. While that statement might not necessarily be true on a game-by-game basis, it’s certainly true in terms of just how far Memphis will go in these playoffs. The Grizzlies needed every bit of Randolph’s 30 points and 13 rebounds in Game 6, on their way to…

  14. NBA Playoffs: Determined Grizzlies won’t go quietly

    May 14, 2011, 12:54 AM EDT

    O.J. Mayo, Zach Randolph, and Marc Gasol celebrate after the Memphis Grizzlies defeated the Oklahoma Thunder in Memphis

    From Games 2 through 5, Oklahoma City had kept the force of nature that can be Zach Randolph in check. They had packed the lane, threw multiple long defenders at him and never let him get comfortable. He shot just 32 percent in those four games. But it all changed Friday night, starting with Grizzlies coach Lionel…

  15. What is in Kevin Durant’s backpack?

    May 12, 2011, 11:51 AM EDT

    kevin-durant-backpack

    He has done this all season long — when Kevin Durant does a post-game interview he is often wearing a backpack. In the locker room, on a podium, wearing a sweater or a shirt and tie, doesn’t matter. He’s wearing a backpack. That lead’s to the greatest mystery of this NBA season: What is in…

  16. NBA Playoffs: Will Grizzlies, Thunder players have anything left?

    May 11, 2011, 5:36 PM EDT

    Oklahoma City Thunder Russell Westbrook drives to the basket by Memphis Grizzlies Marc Gasol and Shane Battier in Memphis

    Game 4 between the Grizzlies and Thunder was exhausting. For me, as a fan, sitting on a couch. I can’t imagine what it took out of the players. And for a crucial Game 5 with the series tied 2-2, that is where the questions start — who is going to have the most energy? Mental…

  17. NBA Playoffs: Thunder win the best game of these playoffs

    May 10, 2011, 2:49 AM EDT

    Oklahoma City Thunder Kevin Durant drives to the basket by Memphis Grizzlies Zach Randolph and Shane Battier in Memphis

    It was long. It was draining. It was sloppy. It was brilliant. It was physical. It had easy shots missed and impossible ones hit. It was entertaining. It was basketball you could not turn away from. It was the best game of the playoffs so far. And in the end — three overtimes later —…

  18. NBA Playoffs: Thunder try to avoid another breakdown

    May 9, 2011, 5:12 PM EDT

    Oklahoma City Thunder v Memphis Grizzlies - Game Three

    Oklahoma City was in control. They had Game 3. Russell Westbrook was dishing (he had 12 assists) and the Thunder were rolling. They were controlling the Grizzlies in the paint enough to get the win. But when Westbrook starts to do his Derrick Rose impression, the Thunder’s offensive balance falls apart. Memphis upped its defensive…

  19. NBA Playoffs: Westbrook, Thunder implode in the fourth quarter

    May 7, 2011, 8:15 PM EDT

    O. J. Mayo, Kevin Durant

    In Game 1 of the Western Conference semifinal matchup between the Thunder and the Grizzlies, Oklahoma City was powerless against Memphis’ big men. In the early parts of Game 3, it was the Thunder’s speed that made the difference, particularly the speed of Russell Westbrook. However, the Thunder ended up falling on their own sword…

  20. So you want to play in Europe during the lockout…

    May 6, 2011, 9:34 PM EDT

    Maccabi Electra Tel Aviv v Real Madrid - Turkish Airlines EuroLeague Final Four Semi Final

    There’s a lot of players throwing out the, “If there’s a lockout I’ll go play in Europe” card. Like it’s some kind of trump card. And if you’re Kevin Durant or Deron Williams or Pau Gasol and you go play for a team like Barcelona, life will be pretty darn good. But that is not…

  21. Kendrick Perkins gets some team meeting Karma in Game 2

    May 4, 2011, 1:45 PM EDT

    Thunder's Durant gets a pat on the head from teammate Perkins after their Western Conference NBA basketball playoffs against the Nuggets in Oklahoma City

    We only hear about the players-only meetings that work. They happen plenty around the NBA — the Cavaliers had them during their record losing streak — and they don’t usually work. But when they do, those meetings get a disproportional amount of credit. That brings us to the tale of Kendrick Perkins and Kevin Durant,…

  22. NBA Playoffs: The Thunder bounce back

    May 4, 2011, 3:59 AM EDT

    Memphis Grizzlies v Oklahoma City Thunder - Game Two

    The Thunder needed a win on Tuesday night, and they got one, 111-102 over the Grizzlies. The Thunder got out to an early lead against the Grizzlies and never looked back, and were able to prevent themselves from having to go into Memphis facing an 0-2 deficit. The key to the game was the Thunder’s…

  23. NBA Playoffs: Russell Westbrook must find his groove. Fast.

    May 3, 2011, 6:35 PM EDT

    Memphis Grizzlies v Oklahoma City Thunder - Game One

    Memphis has become something of a mythological team. Beating them suddenly sounds like a task of Herculean proportions, where one must battle a seven-headed hydra and Zach Randolph. Nobody — not even the legendary Tim Duncan — could slay the beast. But the Oklahoma City Thunder are supposed to have the tools. They are supposed…

  24. Durant thinks Zach Randolph is the best. Randolph agrees.

    May 2, 2011, 11:09 AM EDT

    Memphis Grizzlies v Oklahoma City Thunder - Game One

    There was a lot of Zach Randolph love after he tore up the Oklahoma City Thunder Sunday just like he had done the San Antonio Spurs the weeks before. (Maybe that Duncan guy isn’t so old…) Randolph was the expected monster inside, but he also was 5-of-8 from the midrange — he (and Marc Gasol)…

  25. NBA Playoffs: The Grizzlies win Game 1

    May 1, 2011, 4:29 PM EDT

    Memphis Grizzlies v Oklahoma City Thunder - Game One

    The legend of the 2011 Memphis Grizzlies continues to grow. Days after shocking the Spurs at home in Game 1 of the first round, the 8-seeded Grizzlies started their conference semifinal series off on a high note by taking it to the Oklahoma City Thunder, winning by a final score of 114-101. Kevin Durant and…

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