Tahlequah Daily Press

Sports

January 18, 2014

Durant hangs 54 on Golden State in OKC's triumph

OKLAHOMA CITY — Kevin Durant drained three 3-pointers in 75 seconds. And when the crowd wanted even more, the NBA's leading scorer responded.

Durant poured in a career-high 54 points in an incredibly efficient performance, helping the Oklahoma City Thunder beat the Golden State Warriors 127-121 on Friday night.

The 6-foot-9 forward had 11 points during one two-minute stretch in the fourth quarter, powering the Thunder to a 17-point lead. With the crowd of 18,203 chanting "MVP! MVP!" he made two foul shots with 2:45 remaining to establish a new career-best scoring total.

"When you've got it going, I look at the bench and see how my teammates are reacting, and that just gives me an extra push," Durant said. "Then, I hear the fans."

Durant made 19 of 28 field goals and 11 of 13 free throws in his third straight game with at least 36 points.

"As a leader, my main objective is to serve my teammates, help them out," he said. "Some nights, I've got to put it up, I've got to score. Some nights, I've got to do other things. Tonight, they found me and I was able to hit a few shots. I just tried to do as best as I can to lead the team and lead us to victory."

It was the kind of performance that gets fans fired up about postseason awards in mid-January.

"It's premature," Durant said. "It's way too early in the season. I try not to think about that type of stuff. Of course, as a player, you'd love to win an MVP award, but I can't take my focus off the team. Every day, I've just got to keep chipping away, keep enjoying the process, and we'll see what happens."

Serge Ibaka had 21 points and eight rebounds, Reggie Jackson scored 14 points and Kendrick Perkins added 12 rebounds for the Thunder (30-10), who won for the third time in four games. Oklahoma City shot 58 percent from the field and scored a season-high point total.

Stephen Curry had 37 points and 11 assists, and Klay Thompson added 26 points for the Warriors (25-16), who shot 52 percent but simply couldn't match up with Durant.

"We battled him for the most part, and he got hot in the fourth and knocked down some big shots for them," Warriors center Andrew Bogut said. "There's a reason why he's a perennial All-Star and future Hall of Famer, and possibly MVP this year."

Golden State coach Mark Jackson was disappointed with his team's defense.

"We're a good enough defensive team to give a little better effort, fight a little bit harder," Jackson said.

Oklahoma City led 39-32 at the end of the first quarter after shooting 78.3 percent from the field. It had a 71-65 advantage at the break after a season high for points in a half for the Thunder.

Curry had 22 points and eight assists in the first half and Thompson scored 21 points before the break. The Warriors made 10 of 16 3-pointers in the first half to stay in the game.

Andre Iguodala scored his first points of the game on a steal and dunk that cut Oklahoma City's lead to 82-79 midway through the third, but the Thunder steadily pulled away the rest of the period. A mid-range jumper by Durant pushed Oklahoma City's advantage to 96-86, and the Thunder led 101-91 heading into the final quarter.

Durant then closed by scoring 15 points in the fourth.

"You let a guy like KD, he leads the league in scoring, start off the game as hot as he did . It was tough to start off the game like that and then try to get stops against a dynamic scorer like that, especially when he's hitting everything," Curry said.

Durant gave his teammates credit.

"It's the small things that go into a game to help us win, and everybody did them tonight," he said.

Text Only
Sports
  • ropin-make-a-wish.jpg Dirteater, others help Make-A-Wish

    The event will benefit the Make-A-Wish Foundation. Tickets are $5, with kids 6 and under free.

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • Photo-for-Shinn-story.jpg Coaches preview Sooners season

    Toby Rowland addressed the elephant in the room even before Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops, defensive coordinator Mike Stoops and offensive coordinator Josh Heupel arrived at Journey Church on Wednesday.

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • Date set for Keys football physicals

    Before scheduled practices can begin in order to prepare for the season, players must first receive a physical.
    Next Tuesday, Aug. 5, Keys High School will be administering physicals in the high school cafeteria.

    July 31, 2014

  • Keys-Dakota.jpg Playing both sides of the line

    Recently, Keys High School football standout Dakota Matlock was nearly severely injured in a terrifying car wreck.

    Matlock is coming off a stellar gridiron season for Keys High School. On offense, Matlock ran for over 1,000 yards for the Cougars. In his sophomore season, Matlock led Keys in tackles from the safety position.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • Bassmaster.jpg Crossing, and fishing, the Delaware

    Bassmaster Elite Series anglers to compete Aug. 7

    BASS has fished out of some legendary venues over the years (including Chicago, Detroit and New Orleans), but never Philadelphia, which is host of the Bassmaster Elite at Delaware River, Aug. 7-10, 2014.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • Mison.jpg Mixon’s attorney says incident with woman self-defense

    The attorney for Oklahoma running back Joe Mixon says the incident that left a 20-year-old female OU student with multiple facial fractures was a case of self-defense.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • Hooper.jpg Sparking the flame

    Sequoyah High School’s Justin Hooper looking to lead this year

    Last season was Justin’s last chance to play alongside Cody at Sequoyah High School.
    Justin had to battle to win the Indians starting tailback. The coaching staff did not know who was going to be the Indians starting running back coming into fall practice.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • NSU-fishing-team.jpg NSU teams compete in fishing tournament

    Three teams from Northeastern State University’s Bass Fishing Team competed in the Fishing League Worldwide College Fishing Tournament on Grand Lake in Grove on Saturday, June 21.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Johnson, East win easily at All-State

    Jake Johnson was able to hold off Lawton MacArthur’s Trent Meisel at the Class 5A state tournament in May. On Monday at the All-State tournament at Cherokee Hills Golf Club, Johnson had it much easier against Meisel.

    July 29, 2014

  • McMillan-blackboard.jpg Hometown brothers team up for RiverHawks football

    Northeastern State’s football program will include a pair of hometown brothers for the 2014 season.
    Mason McMillan returns for his sophomore season, and this year he will be reunited with his younger brother, Kourtland. The brothers graduated from Tahlequah High School – Mason in 2013, followed by Kourtland in 2014. At Tahlequah, Mason and Kourtland shared the gridiron for one season.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

Poll

Do you think "blue laws" related to Sunday alcohol sales in Oklahoma should be relaxed? Choose the option that most closely reflects your opinion.

Alcoholic drinks should be sold Sundays in restaurants and bars, and liquor stores should be open.
Alcoholic drinks should be sold Sundays in restaurants and bars only; liquor stores should stay closed.
Liquor stores should be open Sundays, but drinks should not be served anywhere on Sundays.
The law should remain as it is now; liquor stores should be closed, and drinks should be served on Sundays according to county option.
No alcohol should be sold or served publicly on Sundays.
Undecided.
     View Results
Press Sports Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter
AP Video
Netanyahu Vows to Destroy Hamas Tunnels Obama Slams Republicans Over Lawsuit House Leaders Trade Blame for Inaction Malaysian PM: Stop Fighting in Ukraine Cantor Warns of Instability, Terror in Farewell Ravens' Ray Rice: 'I Made a Huge Mistake' Florida Panther Rebound Upsets Ranchers Small Plane Crash in San Diego Parking Lot Busy Franco's Not Afraid of Overexposure Fighting Blocks Access to Ukraine Crash Site Dangerous Bacteria Kills One in Florida Workers Dig for Survivors After India Landslide Texas Scientists Study Ebola Virus Smartphone Powered Paper Plane Debuts at Airshow Southern Accent Reduction Class Cancelled in TN
Stocks