OKC Thunder: Kevin Durant picks his favorite big shots

Kevin Durant names his most memorable big shots at every level.
By Darnell Mayberry, Staff Writer, dmayberry@opubco.com Published: February 20, 2012
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We asked Kevin Durant to name his most memorable big shots at every level of basketball. Then, we asked him to narrow the list to his favorite five and share what he most remembers most about those.

Game-winner against Dallas

The date: Dec. 29, 2011

The play: Trailing 102-101 with 1.4 seconds remaining after allowing a go-ahead 3-pointer to Vince Carter, the Thunder inbounded the ball from the sideline with enough time for only a catch-and shoot. Guard Thabo Sefolosha inbounded the ball on the right wing to a curling Durant, who received a double screen from James Harden and Kendrick Perkins. Durant caught it, squared and fired a rhythmic 3-pointer. The ball splashed through the net as time expired, sparking pandemonium inside Chesapeake Energy Arena.

The impact: It was Durant's third buzzer-beating game-winner of his career, proving once and for all he can bury the big shot. This one gave the Thunder a 104-102 win and lifted Oklahoma City to 4-0 to start the season. Durant also finished with 30 points, marking the fourth straight game he scored at least 30. He joined Kobe Bryant as the only other player in the last 25 seasons to score at least 30 in his team's first four games.

The memory: “That was just emotional for me. I don't know why to be honest. But I gave up, essentially, the game-winner to Vince Carter and I was able to not think about that and knock that next shot down. So that was big for me and my confidence.”

Game-winner against New York

The date: Jan. 22, 2011

The play: With the game tied at 98-all, the Thunder inbounded the ball from the sideline with 6.5 seconds remaining. Thabo Sefolosha threw it in to Russell Westbrook. Westbrook got it to Durant for an isolation at the top of the key on former Knicks forward Danilo Gallinari. Durant took three dribbles to his right, pulled up and shot a fadeaway 3-pointer over Gallinari from just in front of the Knicks bench. As the shot dropped, Durant calmly walked the other way as Thunder fans again erupted.

The impact: This was Durant's second buzzer-beating game-winner and the first time Oklahoma City fans got to see him be the hero. Durant's first buzzer-beating game-winner came while playing in Seattle as a rookie. He defeated the Hawks in Atlanta on Nov. 16, 2007. This shot gave the Thunder a 101-98 win and snapped a two-game Thunder losing streak.

The memory: “After so many times of trying to hit game-winners, I finally hit one. It gave me a lot of confidence as well.”

3-pointer against Texas A&M

The date: Feb. 28, 2007

The play: In an instant classic, Durant drilled a shot that had Longhorns fans inside the Frank Erwin Center thinking they had won the game. Durant knocked down a 3-pointer to give Texas a 76-72 lead with 23 seconds remaining.


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KD IN THE CLUTCH

A look at how Kevin Durant has evolved as a crunch time scorer.

* Clutch stats are defined as production that comes in the fourth quarter or overtime, with less than five minutes left and neither team ahead by more than five points.

YEAR;GM;MIN;PLUS/MINUS;PTS*;RK

07-08;35;135;-15;41.8;6

08-09;38;135;-25;30.6;33

09-10;45;185;-23;36.0;14

10-11;47;211;+20;44.2;6

11-12;13;59;+23;53.4;2

* Points per 48 minutes of clutch time production

Source: 82games.com

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