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OKC Thunder: Kevin Durant says shooting struggles frustrating but figures his shot will come around

Kevin Durant knows his shot's not falling. He figures it's bound to come around. Like you, the three-time scoring champ sees his shooting percentages in this opening round series with Dallas and believes he's due.
by Darnell Mayberry Published: May 2, 2012

Kevin Durant is just like most of you.

He knows his shot's not falling. He figures it's bound to come around.

Like you, the three-time scoring champ sees his shooting percentages in this opening round series with Dallas and believes he's due.

“I do,” Durant said, “because I come in and I put in the work. It's not like I'm just sitting around and waiting for it to come to me. I try to force it a little bit with my work. So if it comes to me, I'll know that's because I worked hard. If it doesn't, then I know I got to keep working hard. It's just a matter of being mentally tough. I want to make shots. I want to be efficient. But I'm not right now. But I've got faith in myself and I'm positive that it'll turn around.”

Durant has made just 15-of-44 shots entering Thursday's Game 3 inside American Airlines Center. He's made only 3-of-12 3-pointers and has looked totally mystified thanks to the Mavs.

While Durant has struggled, it's been Russell Westbrook who has carried the Thunder to a 2-0 series lead. But if the Thunder has any plans of making quick work of the defending champs, Durant seemingly will have to find his stroke in Dallas.

Thunder coach Scott Brooks said he will continue to run the offense through Durant.

“He's getting good looks,” Brooks said. “(Shawn) Marion's doing a great job, but he's also getting great looks. It seems like he's missing the open ones and making some of the contested ones. Hopefully he can make the open ones. But he's fine. Kevin's a terrific player that works hard, that works on his game … That's the only way you can make shots, by keep doing what you've done to make them in the first place.”

After a second straight day of arriving at the Thunder's training facility early and staying late to put in extra work, a sweat-soaked, out-of-breath Durant sauntered over to the media Wednesday and addressed his shooting woes. Though he was noticeably glum, Durant tried to maintain a positive perspective.

“I'm getting the right amount of shots up and getting some good work in so I'll live with the results,” he said. “As long as I work hard I can live with whatever happens.”

To this point, what's ailed Durant is Dallas throwing the kitchen sink at him, with Marion leading the way. Delonte West, Vince Carter and Jason Kidd have also seen time on Durant and, thanks to Dallas' suffocating zone, so have three other defenders.

But in Game 1, when Durant went 10-of-27, much of his nightmarish night was his own doing. Twenty of his 27 field-goal attempts were jump shots. And while that sounds like a ton, it's important to know that nine of those were open looks.

In Game 2, when Durant made just 5-of-17 shots, the ratio was much worse. Amazingly, 16 of his shot attempts were jumpers. And unlike in Game 1, only four were open.

“I think coach has been drawing up some good plays, it's just a matter of me finishing,” Durant said.

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by Darnell Mayberry
OKC Thunder Senior Reporter
Darnell Mayberry grew up in Langston, Okla. and is now in his third stint in the Sooner state. After a year and a half at Bishop McGuinness High, he finished his prep years in Falls Church, Va., before graduating from Norfolk State University in...
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