Kevin Durant finds the key to winning

BY DARNELL MAYBERRY, Staff Writer, dmayberry@opubco.com Modified: November 2, 2009 at 11:55 am •  Published: October 30, 2009
If you had one guess, what would you say is driving Kevin Durant this season?

The scoring title? An All-Star appearance? A playoff berth?

How about video games?

"People might not believe me, but when I go home (after practice) I play video games and I lose all the time,” Durant said. "And I get so mad that I come back and I want to win everything. Something that small puts that winning mentality into my head.”

The NBA’s sixth leading scorer last season is off to a good start after Wednesday’s season-opening 102-89 victory over Sacramento. A stiffer test is in store tonight as the Thunder rolls into Detroit to take on a more talented Pistons team. But the goal of winning remains the same.

"That’s what this year is all about,” Durant said. "We have the right group of guys here and we all want to win, so that makes it easier as well.”

Durant is committed to doing his part.

He tipped off his third season by exhibiting the all-around game fans, teammates, coaches and critics have craved. He scored 25 points on 24 shots, but it was his 11 rebounds, four assists and one block that defined his night.

And oh yeah, his zero turnovers.

"He’s confident in what he’s doing, and he’s making the right choices out there,” said Nick Collison. "That’s kind of the next step to him being a great player, not only being able to score and put up numbers.”

Collison, the only player other than Jeff Green who played alongside Durant the last two seasons, said the 21-year-old forward is more mature. Durant, Collison said, has now learned how to play the pro game and be an efficient and multifaceted player.

"The first few years, I think all young players are trying to find themselves in the league,” Collison said. "And now I think he’s kind of turned the page to where he’s really just trying to win games. It’s not that he wasn’t before, but he’s figured out how he can play and help the team win.