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OKC Thunder: Kevin Durant's play driving MVP talk

The two leading contenders for the honor of best player in the league square off Wednesday night when Durant and the Thunder visit LeBron James' Miami Heat.
by Darnell Mayberry Published: January 28, 2014

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— Reggie Jackson called him the baddest man on the planet.

Nick Collison insisted he's playing the best basketball of his career.

Scott Brooks said he'll be an MVP candidate until he calls it quits.

Reggie Miller declared he's already won this year's MVP race.

Everyone, it seems, is raving about Kevin Durant these days.

The Thunder star has become the story of this NBA season and a heavy favorite for this year's MVP honor, thanks in large part to the sizzling hot streak he's on. Durant has scored at least 30 points in 11 straight games and has five 40-point games this month. He's averaging a shade below 37 points in January and has his team, without super sidekick Russell Westbrook, on an eight-game winning streak and stubbornly clinging to the Western Conference's top seed entering Wednesday's highly anticipated showdown at Miami.

The stretch prompted Heat star LeBron James to liken the steady stream of Durant updates texted to him to having a “KD” app on his phone.

“I'm just going out there and having fun, man,” Durant said. “I'm not coming in saying ‘I have to do this, or I have to do that.' I'm not one of those guys that predetermines anything. I just go off how the game is played and the different schemes teams are throwing at me and just be aggressive that way. I'm just enjoying it and having fun with it and taking it a day at a time.”

And that's a scary thing.

Because not even the baddest man on the planet knows what he might do next.

But this much is clear: Each passing performance at this point is only boosting Durant's candidacy for his first career Most Valuable Player Award.

He says it's too early for MVP talk. But his play is driving the conversation.

“I'm just trying to inspire the team by my play; just playing hard and being emotional,” Durant said. “And hopefully it helps. Sometimes, it may not. But I got to take that risk, take that chance.”

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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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