Derek Fisher: “Assuming that Kevin remains healthy like he has (so far) in his career, by the time he's 35, it will be hard to compare anyone to him.”
Former NBA coach Paul Silas: “Success is written all over him. He's just got it. Very seldom does the good Lord give a player everything. He's almost given this player just about everything he needs for success.”
Five biggest shots
Nov. 16, 2007 — at Hawks
As a rookie, a 19-year-old Durant silenced an Atlanta Hawks home crowd with a dagger on a deep, contested 3-pointer from straight away as time expired. It was Durant's first career game-winner. It came 10 games into his professional career. A star was born.
Jan. 22, 2011 — vs. Knicks
This time, Durant knocks off the Knicks with another miraculous 3-point fling. This one came right in front of the Knicks bench, right over the outstretched arm of Danilo Gallinari.
Dec. 29, 2011 — vs. Mavericks
Vince Carter had just drilled a 3-pointer to put Dallas ahead by one with 1.4 seconds remaining. Durant had an answer. He came off a double screen, caught an inbounds pass from Thabo Sefolosha well beyond the 3-point line, rocked back and buried the game-winner as two Mavs rushed at him. TNT's aerial shot of the arena erupting at Durant's game-winner perfectly depicts the sold out crowd's immediate excitement.
April 28, 2012 — at Mavericks
It was a first-round rematch of the previous year's Western Conference Finals. And there was uncertainty about whether the up-and-coming Thunder was ready to take down the defending champion Mavs. But Durant gave his team a ton of confidence with his off-balance, one-handed, game-winning, free-throw-line shot over Shawn Marion in Game 1. Just 2 1/2 minutes earlier, OKC trailed by seven. After the shot, the Thunder went on to sweep the Mavs.
May 19, 2012 — at Lakers
On the road. Tie game. Clock is ticking. Durant delivered again. A deep 3-pointer over Metta World Peace from the top of the arc with 13.7 seconds remaining gave the Thunder a lead it would not relinquish and ultimately a 3-1 series lead over the Lakers in the semifinals. The shot lifted the Thunder from a 13-point deficit with eight minutes remaining.
Five biggest games
Jan 18, 2013 — at Mavericks
Against a pesky Dallas team that always seems to play the Thunder tough, Durant simply wouldn't let OKC lose. He dropped a career-high 52 points, which included an unbelievable 21-of-21 from the line, and provided the backbreaker, drilling the game-winning floater over Shawn Marion, a guy KD has victimized maybe more than anyone, with 17 seconds left.
April 16, 2008 — at Warriors
The 19-year-old rookie provided SuperSonic fans with a special parting gift. In the final game before the franchise moved to Oklahoma City, a baby-faced Durant dropped 42 points and 13 rebounds in a win over the Warriors, his first career double-double and a glimpse of what was to come. “I think I got better and learned how to play the game a little bit more,” he said after the game.
April 27, 2011 — vs. Nuggets
Durant put up a dominant 41 points on only 27 shots (the only player on the team to score more than 14), helping hold off the Nuggets in Game 5 and spring the Thunder to its first playoff series win since moving to OKC. The Thunder overcame a nine-point deficit in the final four minutes, mostly thanks to Durant scoring the team's final nine points. “Kevin just took over. It was an unbelievable performance,” Nick Collison said.
November 18, 2012 — vs. Warriors
Six years into the league, Durant had continually shown a vast improvement in all areas of the game. But until this November night against the Warriors, he didn't have a triple-double to point to. Against Golden State, he put together a 25-point, 13-rebound, 10-assist night in a double-digit win. "Now, I guess I've finally got the monkey off my back," he said after the game.
January 26, 2011 — at Minnesota
In a wild overtime showdown with Kevin Love and the Timberwolves, KD had the last laugh. Durant piled up 47 points and 18 rebounds in 50 minutes, edging out an equally unbelievable Love (31 points, 21 rebounds, countless big plays). "All I can say is Durant is incredible. He's incredible," a defeated Love said postgame.
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