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OKC Thunder: Kevin Durant delivers on both ends to help Thunder bust slump

A nearly unthinkable four-game home losing streak had become a potential reality in downtown Oklahoma City. Then the MVP favorite did his MVP thing.
Oklahoman Published: February 28, 2014

The Thunder’s once comfortable lead had dwindled to three points.

Mike Miller had entered full-fledged 2012 NBA Finals mode, scoring all 19 of his points in a wild fourth quarter.

And a nearly unthinkable four-game home losing streak had become a potential reality in downtown Oklahoma City.

But then the MVP favorite did his MVP thing, closing out the Thunder’s 113-107 win over the Memphis Grizzlies on Friday night. And, for now, all is right again in OKC.

“It feels great,” Kevin Durant said. “You can take it for granted. We learned a lesson losing three in a row.”

Durant was immense throughout the night, scoring a game-high 37 points on 24 shots, while adding six rebounds, five assists and two steals.

But he was particularly dominant in crunch time.

After a James Johnson 3-pointer cut the Thunder lead to 105-102, Durant was called for a technical for barking at the referee. Memphis was on a crucial 12-4 run, with the ball and the momentum.

But the Thunder had a ticked off Durant. And that was the difference on this night.

Coming out of the timeout, Durant took the assignment of guarding Marc Gasol, the Grizzlies’ biggest and best player.

During shootaround, coach Scott Brooks had mentioned there might be a need, when the Thunder went small, for Durant to guard the bruising big man.

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by Anthony Slater
Thunder Beat Writer
Anthony Slater started on the Thunder beat in the summer of 2013, joining after two years as's lead sports blogger and web editor. A native Californian, Slater attended Sonoma State for two years before transferring to Oklahoma State in...
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