It takes a lot to overshadow a 31-point, 21-rebound effort by Kevin Love in his own gym, but Kevin Durant did it last night by dropping 47 points (15-28 FG, 13-14 FT) on the T-Wolves to go with 18 boards and OKC’s game-winning bucket in overtime … In the opening minutes of the game, it looked like Corey Brewer was going to give KD a battle — he was in Durant’s shirt defensively and threw down a couple of momentum-building dunks on the other end — but once Durant got rolling, Brewer might as well have been wearing a traffic cone costume. Whether staring him down for pull-ups, coming off curls for J’s, backdoor-cutting him for dunks, or baiting him into fouls, Durant was getting whatever he wanted … But thanks to K-Love and Mike Beasley (30 pts, 9 rebs, 7 asts), Minnesota withstood the body blows. Tied up with 30 seconds left in overtime, though, KD took on Brewer and a second defender and iced a step-back fadeaway for the lead. Brewer had a chance to tie it at the foul line in the final seconds, but he bricked the second freebie as the Thunder escaped with the win … Durant’s point total tied Blake Griffin for the NBA’s season-high output … The Jazz used to have their timing down perfect for these thrilling fourth-quarter comebacks, but lately they’ve been waiting too long. Hosting the Spurs last night, the Jazz had it tied early in the second quarter before Gary Neal scored 10 points during a 17-0 San Antonio run to blow it open. The Spurs pretty much kept that double-digit cushion until there the two-minute mark of the fourth quarter, when Utah remembered they can play with the best teams in the League … Deron Williams (39 pts, 9 asts) hit a jumper, Al Jefferson (22 pts, 9 rebs) scored inside, and C.J. Miles dropped in a nice reverse layup to suddenly make it a four-point game with 30 seconds left. That was still the margin with 20 seconds left, but after Manu Ginobili (26 pts, 6 rebs, 7 asts) added a free throw, Utah couldn’t get good enough looks at the basket or enough time put back on the clock to pull off the miracle … Are Raja Bell and Hines Ward long-lost cousins or something? They’re both adept at staying in front of their defensive/blocking assignments, they’re not opposed to delivering a dirty shot, they aggravate the hell out of their opponents while also earning begrudging respect, and they kind of look alike. The only difference is that Hines has like 950 catches in his NFL career, while nobody really checks for Raja on offense anymore …
Smack / Jan 27, 2011 / 3:46 am
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