Kevin Durant’s night was done with more than six minutes left in a 106-88 rout over the Knicks on Monday night at the Ford Center.
Ho, hum, another 30-point outing.
But it’s how Durant reached 30 for the 19th time this season that was noteworthy.
He had only 14 field goal attempts.
"I’ve been in the league 2 1/2 years. I’m starting to learn the tricks and trades of getting to the line,” Durant said. "My teammates do a great job of setting me up (with screens and passes) to make sure I have opportunities. If I continue to be aggressive, I can get to the line even more.”
After watching Kobe Bryant, LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Carmelo Anthony in last year’s NBA playoffs, Durant vowed to be a two-way performer by playing better defense and not settle for as many jump shots.
So far, he’s succeeded in both areas, which is why many in league circles feel he’s a lock to be named to the All-Star Game for the first time.
After draining 13-of-16 free throws in Monday’s win, Durant is averaging 9.3 free-throw attempts per game. That’s a dramatic improvement over his 2007 Rookie of the Year campaign.
"Offensively, he understands if his shot isn’t falling to take it to the basket and try to draw contact,” said Thunder coach Scott Brooks. "He’s done a pretty good job of that all year.
Box score from Monday's game