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Kevin Durant scores 29 as Thunder beats New Orleans Hornets

BY JOHN ROHDE, Staff Writer, Published: January 11, 2012

— During the first four seasons of Kevin Durant's NBA career, opposing teams worried about containing his scoring.

That often didn't go particularly well for opponents, given how Durant became the league's youngest ever scoring champion and successfully defended his title last season.

Imagine how teams figure to struggle playing against a more complete version of Durant.

The Hornets felt Durant's wrath in a 95-85 loss Wednesday night inside New Orleans Arena, during which he became the first player this season to have at least 29 points, 10 rebounds, four blocks and three assists in the same game.

While those aren't exactly round numbers, they certainly show Durant's all-around game.

It was his fourth double-double of the young season, and he fell one blocked shot shy of tying his career-high.

“I've just been watching film,” Durant said with a shrug. “I think that's the biggest teacher for me, knowing my mistakes and knowing I can get better.”

Then Durant added a sentence he must have repeated 100 times. “My teammates do a great job putting me in great positions,” said the 23-year-old. “I know I've got a long ways to go, but I've just got to keep working.”

Durant's effort gave the Thunder its fifth straight win in just six nights. Despite missing his first three shots of the game, Durant finished 11 for 17 from the floor and 3 for 4 from 3-point range.

“Kevin really was good tonight,” OKC coach Scott Brooks, who might have repeated that phrase 100 times himself. “He made some tough shots. He made some good shots. He made some big plays for us.”

Teammates smile all the thought of Durant's expanding repertoire.

Reserve forward Nick Collison knows Durant's game better than anybody, having been his teammate since Durant arrived as a rookie out of Texas in 2007-08.

Wednesday's box score: Thunder 95, Hornets 85 Blog: Tidbits from courtside

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