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OKC Thunder: Kevin Durant's run as scoring champ likely over

Unless the Thunder star goes for 70 points in the season finale, he'll finish second to Carmelo Anthony in the NBA scoring race.
by Darnell Mayberry Published: April 16, 2013

/articleid/3786830/1/pictures/2014080">Photo - Oklahoma City's Kevin Durant (35) celebrates with Ronnie Brewer (8) after Durant hit and 3-point shot and was fouled during an NBA basketball game between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the Sacramento Kings at Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Monday, April 15, 2013. Photo by Nate Billings, The Oklahoman
Oklahoma City's Kevin Durant (35) celebrates with Ronnie Brewer (8) after Durant hit and 3-point shot and was fouled during an NBA basketball game between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the Sacramento Kings at Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Monday, April 15, 2013. Photo by Nate Billings, The Oklahoman

“Many times … he was trying to get a triple-double,” Brooks said of Durant. “And when you try to get 10 assists, that means you're not trying to score.”

Additionally, thanks to the Thunder's league-leading 9.4-point scoring differential, Durant didn't play in 14 fourth quarters this season. Had he been needed in those games and scored even half of his NBA-best 8.4 fourth-quarter points, Durant would be in the lead with a 28.9 average right now.

“Next year he can lead the league in scoring,” Brooks said. “But that's never been (Durant's) focus. He wants to win a championship.”

Teammates credit Durant's maturity for that focus.

“It's a real thing to have a common goal of winning the championship. I think that's what's changed here. That's where we're at right now,” said Nick Collison. “The other things don't seem as important, I guess, as they once did. It's good to be a part of it.”

Still, how much fun would it be to watch Durant shoot for 70?

It's been 19 years since David Robinson hung 71 on the Los Angeles Clippers on the final day of the 1993-94 season to surpass Shaquille O'Neal for the scoring crown. It's been 35 years since David Thompson erupted for 73 points on the final day of the 1978-79 season before George Gervin wrestled away the scoring title later that night by scoring 63 points.

“I'll try if you want me to,” Durant playfully told a reporter.

The reporter then responded by saying he would love to see him try.

“All right,” Durant said. “I'll try to get 70.”

If only he were serious.

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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