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KD's heroics aren't enough to save the Thunder in Game 2

by Jenni Carlson Published: May 8, 2013

Kevin Durant dribbled, backing down Tony Allen, leaning on the Memphis defender.

But as Durant leaned in, Allen backed off.

Like that, Durant was sprawled on The Peake hardwood.

Instead of late-game heroics, there was heartbreak.

On a night when the Thunder superstar had his best performance of these playoffs — a near triple-double — it wasn't enough to save the Thunder. He wasn't enough to save the Thunder.

Grizzlies 99, Thunder 93.

The harsh reality is that in this series against these Grizzlies, Durant might not have enough to carry the Thunder to the next round.

But he is going to give it everything he has.

“I can carry as much as Coach can give me,” Durant said.

That mentality is obvious after the first two games of this Western Conference playoff series. After hitting the game-winning shot on Sunday, he had a masterful game on Tuesday.

His stat line: 36 points, 11 rebounds, nine assists, one steal, one block.

One more assist, and Durant would've had his first postseason triple-double. But even without it, it was still another big-time performance.

“Durant got it going and was scoring,” Memphis coach Lionel Hollins said..

It's nothing new for Durant in the postseason. He has scored at least 20 points in 34 consecutive playoff games, the third-longest streak in the last four decades.

More impressive, though, is what Durant has done in these playoffs. He has scored 30-plus points in five of the six games since Thunder point guard Russell Westbrook got hurt.

Think about that for a minute.

Since losing his sidekick, the guy who absorbs all sorts of defensive pressure and takes weight off of his shoulders, Durant has still managed to hit that 30-point plateau in almost every game.

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by Jenni Carlson
Jenni Carlson, a sports columnist at The Oklahoman since 1999, came by her love of sports honestly. She grew up in a sports-loving family in Kansas. Her dad coached baseball and did color commentary on the radio for the high school football...
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