On Thursday night, three-time scoring champ Kevin Durant officially became an All-Star for the fourth straight season and was voted as a starter for the third straight year.
He punctuated the honor Friday night by scoring a career-high 52 points in the Thunder's 117-114 overtime victory over the Dallas Mavericks at American Airlines Center
“It never gets old,” Durant said before the. “You can't take something like that for granted, no matter what. Growing up, I remember when I was in seventh grade the game was in Washington, D.C. I just wanted to be a part of that. I wanted to sit on the front row and watch the dunk contest. I wanted to play in the game.”
The reaction of Thunder coach Scott Brooks: “He's one of the best players in the game and it's great that the fans have acknowledged that also. He's everything (that's) right about the NBA.”
HARD TO GUARD
Thunder reserve forward Nick Collison considers Dallas power forward Dirk Nowitzki is the most difficult player he has had to defend.
“When you guard someone like that, you try to just make his shots difficult. You can't block them,” Collison explained said of the 7-foot Nowitzki, who has a high release point on his shot and unlimited range. “That's the same thing with Kevin (Durant). You concentrate more on trying to get him to catch the ball somewhere else than where they want to catch it.”
Nowitzki started Friday's game 0 for 7 from the field, was 1 for 11 through three quarters and finished 5 for 19 with 18 points.
Thunder sixth man Kevin Martin continues to struggle on the road.
Martin entered Friday's game averaging 16.9 points at Chesapeake Energy Arena and 12.5 points everywhere else this season.
He is shooting 48.1 percent from the field, 50.5 percent on 3-pointers and 92.5 percent at the free-throw line at The Peake, while on the road he was shooting 38.3 percent from the field, 33.3 percent on 3-pointers and 89.1 percent at the line.
Against the Mavs, Martin made three of his first four shots, then missed six straight. He finished 3 for 10 from the field and 1 for 6 from 3-point range for 11 points.