By Anthony Slater – Aslater@opubco.com - @anthonyVslater
Behind Kevin Durant’s career-high 52 points, Oklahoma City survived in Dallas on Friday night, winning 117-114 in overtime. Here’s some rapid reaction:
During an uncharacteristic fourth quarter, Kevin Durant couldn’t buy a bucket. On the move, in the paint, wide open from deep. Shots he usually drops in his sleep just weren’t falling. Overall, he was 2/10 shooting in a final frame that saw the Mavericks erase a nine-point deficit and send it to overtime. But the lid was lifted in the extra session, when Durant poured in three of four shots, all daggers, to dramatically finish off a career-high 52-point night.
Driving left and dropping in a smooth looking runner for points 51 and 52, KD iced the back-and-forth game with this smooth floater.
It was over when…
…NBA journeyman Mike James, obviously still riding the high of his big three-pointer moments earlier, took a wild and errant three with six seconds left, clanging off the rim and leaving many in Dallas with bewildered looks on their faces. That included Mark Cuban, the man who gave Mike James a second 10-day contract earlier this week, but might now be willing to cut that in half.
Stats of note
-Durant’s outburst was the first 50-point game in the NBA this season.
-Russell Westbrook (31 points) has now dropped 30+ in three straight games. That’s a season-high.
-Durant went a ridiculous 21/21 from the line. Via ESPN, Dominique Wilkins 23/23 game years back is the most made free throws in a game without a miss.
Quote of the night
“Best offensive player on the planet. I don’t think there’s any question about that.” -Mavs coach Rick Carlisle to reporters after the game.
Leg two of the Thunder’s season-long six-game road trip is Sunday in Denver, against a Nuggets team likely out for some revenge, trying to erase the ugly memory of Wednesday night’s whooping delivered at the hands of OKC.