Kevin Durant insists he has yet to see his latest commercial.
You know, the 30-second NBA ad that calls him “Kid Clutch.”
The slow-motion spot begins with Durant stepping into a jumper and rising high above a defender. Upon Durant's release, a phrase appears on the screen, one word at a time, branding Durant as “the shooter with the golden touch.”
As the ball travels through the air, the flashing white words remind that “we all know where this is going” and that we will be “arriving at our destination shortly.”
When the ball splashes through the net, the message reads “home sweet home.”
Then, as Durant turns and begins his trot back on defense, we're told three things.
He is automatic. He is The Real McCoy. He is BIG.
Durant was all that and then some Friday night, turning in yet another tremendous performance and punctuating it by taking over the game when it mattered most to carry the Thunder to a 101-94 win over Memphis at Chesapeake Energy Arena.
The reigning two-time scoring champ scored 16 of his game-high 36 points in the fourth quarter. He dumped in 14 of the Thunder's final 17 points, all in the final five minutes to turn a one-point lead into a seven-point win. Each of those baskets will go down as production that is defined by 82games.com as “clutch” — when the game is in the fourth quarter or overtime with less than five minutes remaining and neither team is ahead by more than five points.
“He's a great player. I mean, that's all you can say. He's a great player,” said Memphis coach Lionel Hollins. “He made great plays and great shots down the stretch. He took over the game. He's going to be one of the all-time greats if he stays healthy.”
Durant's onslaught began when he tipped in his own miss to extend the Thunder's lead to 86-83 with 4:59 remaining. A gritty Grizzlies team that led by as many as 11 and was ahead by eight entering the final period never went away — until Durant finally put them away.
He hit a step-back jumper from the left baseline. He split a pair of free throws after drawing contact on an aggressive move. And he followed with another pair of foul shots.