The final three minutes of the third quarter in the Thunder's 112-95 victory at Miami on Wednesday gave us exactly what we wanted to see.
Kevin Durant and LeBron James head-to-head, matching each other shot-for-shot.
The two stars each scored eight of their 12 third-quarter points in that stretch, Durant hitting two 3-pointers and a 15-foot jumper, James scoring on two fadeaways, a driving layup and a 21-footer.
“Rucker Park,” Durant said, referring to the legendary New York City playground, when asked what he thought of that sequence.
“It was fun,” he added. “My teammates, they just gave me the ball and told me to go and make a play. (LeBron) got hot for a quick second, and I had to come in there and make an answer. It was fun. I'm sure the fans got what they wanted to see with that one.”
Did the two stars do any jawing during the flurry?
“We said some slick stuff,” Durant said. “But that stays on the court. He is a tremendous competitor, and I love playing against him. It was a fun game, and I'm sure when we play again it's going to be the same.”
Said James: “It is a fun competition. It's been a while since I've been able to do something like that and go at each other.”
Durant avoided comparisons of him and James to Magic Johnson and Larry Bird.
“No, I don't think so,” Durant said when asked if he sees similarities between the rivalries. “I mean, we've been in the Finals one time (against each other). That's it. I try not to get into that debate. Those two guys, Bird and Magic, they're on another level, and I try not to get into that. It's Kevin Durant versus LeBron James when we're matched up on that court. But it's Oklahoma City versus the Miami Heat. That's how I try to look at it.”
FISHER PROVIDES SPARK
Derek Fisher scored a season-high 15 points against the Heat, hitting all five of his 3-point tries while adding three rebounds, an assist, a steal and a ton of energy and hustle plays.
“I thought that Derek Fisher really did a great job with inspiring us when we got down,” said Thunder coach Scott Brooks. “He made a couple of big 3s, and then everyone chipped in.”
Fisher's efforts helped the Thunder's bench outscore Miami's 39-21.
STAT OF THE NIGHT
The Thunder went 16-for-27 from 3-point range Wednesday, setting a team record for made 3s. Oklahoma City had two more made 3-pointers than made free throws.
Durant on Russell Westbrook's case as an All-Star reserve — “If Chris Paul makes it he should make it, too.”
The Thunder will take on Brooklyn inside the Barclays Center on Friday. It's the second and final meeting between the two teams. The Nets won the first meeting, 95-93, on Jan. 2 in Oklahoma City. Tip-off is 7 p.m.
66ERS LOSE TO VIPERS
Tim Ohlbrecht had 28 points and 13 rebounds to lead Rio Grande Valley to a 125-113 D-League victory over Tulsa in Hidalgo, Texas. Mustafa Shakur, Mario Little and Reggie Williams each had at least 20 points for Tulsa.