Jenni Carlson: Another big game for Kevin Durant

by Jenni Carlson Published: August 21, 2011

Kevin Durant, you're killing us.

You don't mean to be hurting Oklahoma City, of course. When you throw up all these big numbers in summer exhibition games, you don't mean to remind us what we might miss if this NBA lockout isn't resolved. When you make all these highlights, you don't want to make us think about a year without Thunder basketball.

But that's exactly what you're doing.

And it is excruciating.

That 66-point game earlier this summer at New York City's famed Rucker Park was pretty hard to handle. I mean, it was great fun watching the YouTube clip as you splashed one 3-pointer after another. You had that little no-one-can-stop-me smile on your face at the end when the fans rushed the court and ended the game.

And now comes tale of a bicoastal showdown in Washington, D.C.

The East Coast's Goodman League squared off against the West Coast's Drew League on Saturday night. With bragging rights on the line, NBA standouts filled each roster. Ty Lawson. John Wall. Brandon Jennings. DeMarcus Cousins. DeMar DeRozan.

But Durant was the game's MVP.

He scored 44 points, hit the game-winning free throws with 21 seconds left, then blocked a baseline jumper at the buzzer.

The shooter?

James Harden.

Stick the knife in a little deeper, why don't you?

In Oklahoma City, about the only guy who created more buzz during the playoffs than Durant was Harden. He blossomed during the Thunder's run to the Western Conference Finals. He became another exciting option in the basket-attacking style that Sam Presti and Scott Brooks have built this team around.

Folks in these parts can't wait to see what Harden can add to Durant and Co.

But Saturday night, Durant and Harden went at it. They guarded each other throughout the game, and reports on the ground indicate they were none too kind to each other.

At one point, Harden put a hard shoulder into Durant's chest. Durant responded with a not-so-nice forearm, but Harden came right back, leaning hard into Durant and denying him the basketball.

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by Jenni Carlson
Columnist
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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