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Thunder-Spurs: Inside the Durant family's group hug

On a night that will leave Oklahoma City with plenty of memorable moments, none was more special than KD's family's group hug.
by Jenni Carlson Published: June 7, 2012

/articleid/3682188/1/pictures/1740680">Photo - Kevin Durant talks to his mom Wanda Pratt after the 107-99 win over San Antonio during Game 6 of the Western Conference Finals between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the San Antonio Spurs in the NBA playoffs at the Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Wednesday, June 6, 2012. Photo by Chris Landsberger, The Oklahoman
Kevin Durant talks to his mom Wanda Pratt after the 107-99 win over San Antonio during Game 6 of the Western Conference Finals between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the San Antonio Spurs in the NBA playoffs at the Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Wednesday, June 6, 2012. Photo by Chris Landsberger, The Oklahoman

And now, it makes this shared success all the sweeter.

Pratt attends virtually every home game and has become a fixture in her courtside seat across the home hardwood from the Thunder bench. She dances. She cheers. And after every game, she gets a kiss and a hug from her baby.

She got those again Wednesday night, and this time around, the hug was longer than normal.

And the tears?

Those were a rarity.

Then again, so is a Western Conference title.

“I'm just proud of him,” Pratt said. “I'm just proud that he's accomplished this goal. It's one of the things he's done in his career in such a short time.

“I just want him to enjoy this moment.”

He deserves it — Durant had one of his greatest games on the biggest stage. His stat line was unbelievable Wednesday.

Where to start? Would it be the game-high 34 points? Or the game-high 14 rebounds? Or the five assists? Or the two blocked shots?

What about the 48 minutes?

Yep, Durant played every minute Wednesday.

“After ... the first quarter, I went to the bench and told the coaches, ‘I can go all night, I can go 48,'” Durant said. “I didn't think they would let me do it, but they kept me in.”

Thunder coach Scott Brooks said: “I wasn't going to take him out. I was not going to take him out. I don't care how many times he looked at me fatigued.”

He shook his head.

“I mean, it's amazing,” Brooks said. “It's an amazing moment for him to play like this in this moment, in this setting.”

That his family could see it, enjoy it, revel in it meant the world. You could tell that in the smile that popped onto his face when he was asked after the game about that group hug.

“For them to be here at the biggest stage in basketball — the NBA — is just a blessing,” Durant said.

He nodded his head.

“I never want to take those moments for granted.”

by Jenni Carlson
Columnist
Jenni Carlson, a sports columnist at The Oklahoman since 1999, came by her love of sports honestly. She grew up in a sports-loving family in Kansas. Her dad coached baseball and did color commentary on the radio for the high school football...
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