Share “OKC Thunder: Pacers take down Thunder”

OKC Thunder: Pacers take down Thunder

By the time Kevin Durant walked out of Bankers Life Fieldhouse, his two costly and uncharacteristically bad crunch-time misses not only overshadowed his 38-point performance, but they also suggested that there was something more in play with Durant’s recent shooting struggles.
by Darnell Mayberry Published: April 13, 2014
Advertisement

— The game clock was low and the Thunder was down.

But three points is a deficit Kevin Durant erases with a flick of his wrist.

And on Sunday, on the road, in a hostile environment, against a desperate team, it all set up for Durant to dish more heartbreak and build on his “Slim Reaper” rep.

With 58 seconds remaining, Durant shook free from his defender, using the best double screen money can buy in teammates Kendrick Perkins and Serge Ibaka. He caught an inbounds pass from Russell Westbrook just beyond the top of the 3-point arc. Took one dribble, rose and released.

It was blocked, stuffed right back toward the hands from which the shot came by Indiana forward David West.

Pacers ball.

Durant would get another chance. Down four with 8.3 seconds remaining, he curled around another set of screens, hauled in an inbounds pass from Thabo Sefolosha, squared up from virtually the same spot, aimed and fired. He stared down his release.

Air-ball.

Pacers 102, Thunder 97.

And by the time Durant walked out of Bankers Life Fieldhouse, his two costly and uncharacteristically bad crunch-time misses not only overshadowed his 38-point performance, but they also suggested that there was something more in play with Durant’s recent shooting struggles.

Fortunately for the Thunder, Durant rejected the reason it appears to be — fatigue.

“I’m just taking bad ones,” Durant said of his shot selection. “I’m taking bad 3s.”

Durant went 2-for-11 from 3-point range Sunday. Just seven days earlier, in a road loss at Phoenix, Durant hoisted a career-high 15 3-pointers. He hit only four of those.

Over the past five games, Durant is just 9-for-39 from that distance, a 7.8-attempt average and 23 percent rate that proves he’s settling for and struggling with shots from that distance.

In game No. 80, with 42 more minutes piled on top of his league-leading minutes-played tally Sunday, it would be understandable if Durant has lost his legs. The sight of many of his long-distance attempts coming up short over the past week even lends credence to that theory.

Continue reading this story on the...

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...
+ show more


Trending Now


AROUND THE WEB

  1. 1
    Twelve Weeks To A Six-Figure Job
  2. 2
    New York Pain Clinic Doctor Is Sentenced in Overdose Deaths of 2 Patients
  3. 3
    Time Lapse: Amsterdam Light Festival
  4. 4
    Baby Jesus gets GPS
  5. 5
    NORAD's Santa Tracker Began With A Typo And A Good Sport
+ show more