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Oklahoma City Thunder: Kevin Durant says it's a matter of time before shooting slump ends

Durant’s next chance to find light at the end of the tunnel comes Tuesday night in Game 5 against Memphis. He’s had two days to sit and stew over what’s gone wrong in the last three games, contests in which he’s combined to shoot 35.5 percent from the floor and 22.2 percent from beyond the 3-point line.
by Darnell Mayberry Published: April 28, 2014

/articleid/4569150/1/pictures/2504422">Photo - Oklahoma City Thunder forward Kevin Durant (35) shoots extra baskets following a team practice in Oklahoma City, Monday, April 28, 2014. The Thunder face the Memphis Grizzlies in Game 5 of the first round of the NBA basketball playoffs on Tuesday. (AP Photo)
Oklahoma City Thunder forward Kevin Durant (35) shoots extra baskets following a team practice in Oklahoma City, Monday, April 28, 2014. The Thunder face the Memphis Grizzlies in Game 5 of the first round of the NBA basketball playoffs on Tuesday. (AP Photo)

While he has attacked from various spots, it’s undeniable that Durant also has settled for jump shots in this series. He’s taken more 3-pointers on average (8.5) than free throws (8.3) in these first four games. Only 33 of his 101 shots attempts have come within 10 feet. Fifty-one of his looks have come from 15 feet and beyond. Thirty-four of those have been 3-pointers.

The combination has resulted in Durant shooting just 39 percent from the floor in this series, his lowest rate since connecting on just 35 percent of his shots against the Lakers in the first round of the 2010 postseason. This year’s 26.5 percent postseason clip from 3-point range is currently a career low from that distance.

To shake this slump, Durant said he’s tuning out the noise to remain confident. He’s staying off of social media websites and avoiding stories in the traditional media.

“Put in the work and trust in the work and keep my mind right. That’s all it is to it,” Durant said. “If I have another bad shooting night, just stay positive with it and try to find my way out of it and not think about it a lot.”

Durant and Thunder assistant coach Brian Keefe look to baseball in times like these. They recite a saying, “162,” as a reminder of how diligent Durant must continue to be.

“That’s how many days a baseball player comes in every single day and does his work, from batting practice to field work to whatever,” Durant said. “He does his work for 162 days. So that’s what we try to emphasize here…It’s the same stuff over and over again. Keep working. Trust in the process and it’ll get better.”

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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