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OKC Thunder: Kevin Durant picks his favorite big shots

Kevin Durant names his most memorable big shots at every level.
By Darnell Mayberry, Staff Writer, dmayberry@opubco.com Published: February 20, 2012
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The impact: The shot ultimately was nothing more than a much-needed cushion. A&M hit a 3 just eight seconds later to pull within one before D.J. Augustin made two foul shots to push Texas' lead back to three. Then, A&M guard Acie Law made a miraculous 3-pointer over Durant with 1.4 seconds left to tie it and send it to overtime. Texas would need two overtimes to win it after Law hit another huge 3 late in the first overtime.

The memory: “That was kind of like, really, my first, first big-time game, big shot. Even though we still went into overtime after that, that was a big shot for me. And just the energy that was in the building after I hit that shot was second to none.”

Step back on Shane Battier

The date: May 9, 2011

The play: Ahead by six with 36 seconds remaining, Durant iced the game with a cold-blooded, crossover, step-back jumper on Memphis forward Shane Battier in Game 4 of the Western Conference semifinals. Durant began by dribbling out some clock at the top of the key. When he went into his move, Durant crossed over to his left, then rocked Battier back to the right before quickly threading the ball behind his back and pulling up for a 19-foot jumper from the left elbow.

The impact: The shot gave the Thunder an eight-point lead with 29.3 seconds remaining. Oklahoma City held onto a 133-123 triple-overtime win in Memphis to tie the series at 2-2 and regain home-court advantage.

The memory: “Just the importance of the game. We were down in the first half. We were going to go down 3-1 if we would have lost that game. And we fought back from almost 20 down and took it to three overtimes and we were able to win that game in the playoffs. And the playoffs is the highest level of basketball.”

Catch and shoot 3 at New York

The date: Feb. 20, 2010

The play: Down 105-102 with six seconds remaining at Madison Square Garden, the Thunder used Durant this time to inbound the ball to Russell Westbrook from the sideline. Westbrook took five dribbles to his right, just enough to set up action away from the ball. Nick Collison showed a fake screen on Westbrook's man before bolting toward Durant's man, Danilo Gallinari, and annihilating him with a screen at the top of the key. It freed up Durant to catch a bullet pass from Westbrook and step into a wide open straight on 3-pointer that hit nothing but net, tying the game with six seconds remaining.

The impact: The shot sent the game into overtime, where the Thunder got the go-ahead jumper from Durant with 16 seconds remaining, as well as a pair of free throws with 10 seconds left that iced it for a 121-118 Thunder win in overtime. It was the Thunder's eighth straight victory, and by finishing with 36 points Durant bumped his streak of scoring 25 or more to 27 straight games.

The memory: “Just the mecca of basketball, Madison Square Garden. And it was hype around it. T-Mac (Tracy McGrady) came back and played very well that first game he came back. And just the fact that the Garden was really jumping like it was the playoffs. That was important, too.”


KD IN THE CLUTCH

A look at how Kevin Durant has evolved as a crunch time scorer.

* Clutch stats are defined as production that comes in the fourth quarter or overtime, with less than five minutes left and neither team ahead by more than five points.

YEAR;GM;MIN;PLUS/MINUS;PTS*;RK

07-08;35;135;-15;41.8;6

08-09;38;135;-25;30.6;33

09-10;45;185;-23;36.0;14

10-11;47;211;+20;44.2;6

11-12;13;59;+23;53.4;2

* Points per 48 minutes of clutch time production

Source: 82games.com

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