With 2:07 left in the game, Durant appeared to have hauled in his 18th until the ball was wrestled away by Portland's J.J. Hickson. “Yeah, I missed a few, too,” Durant said, shaking his head.
For only the second time in his career, Durant had a double-double by halftime after collecting 12 points and 10 rebounds against the Blazers.
Durant led OKC in rebounding last season with an 8.0 average and is well on his way to leading the category again.
“He has the ability,” Brooks said of Durant's rebounding. “He has a nose for the basketball. When he's really in tune and engaged at the end of the floor, he can get 10-12 rebounds a night. He can do that. We have to continue to stress that.
“But we still like him to do other things. He still has to score for us, he has to be able to playmake and he's doing it all. He's starting to really get excited about filling the stat sheet.”
Durant is so excited he quietly has set a goal to average a double-double this season.
“I don't like to talk about it, but it is in the back of my mind,” Durant said with a smile. “I've just got to go in there and help the bigs out because they do a great job of boxing out. They make my job easier. Sometimes I just run in and take the rebound from them. They get upset with me a little, but I'm just trying to help out.”