Oklahoma City Thunder small forward Kevin Durant (35) drives against Miami Heat small forward LeBron James (6) during the fourth quarter of a in Miami, Wednesday, Jan. 29, 2014. The Thunder won 112-95. (AP PhotoAlan Diaz)
If you still have doubts that Kevin Durant of the Oklahoma City Thunder isn't going to end up with the Most Valuable Player trophy this NBA season, then it’s time to concede.
On January 30, Durant showed us why.
Colliding for the first time this season, Durant and the Thunder crushed the Miami Heat, 125-95, the reigning back-to-back champions.
It was a win that netted the Thunder a 37-10 (win-loss) record and kept them as the No. 1 team in the Western Conference and second overall behind only the Eastern Conference's Indiana Pacers (35-9). The Heat? They're lurking at No. 2 in the East and No. 4 overall with a 32-13 slate, behind the Portland Trailblazers and the San Antonio Spurs (33-13) and barely ahead of the Los Angeles Clippers (33-15).
Highlights: Thunder vs. Heat
Kevin Durant scores 33 points,as the Thunder roar back from an abysmal start to embarrass the Heat 112-95.
Durant also outplayed LeBron James with 33 points on 12-of-23 shooting from the field including four booming triples, seven rebounds, five assists and two steals. In fairness, James had a decent game with 34 points on a 12-of-20 clip with just one 3-pointer to go with measly three boards and the same number of dimes. It's clear as crystal that The Durantula is on a higher level than LeBron right now as it marks the 12th consecutive game that Durant scored 30 or more points. LeBron just couldn't contain Durant anymore. At least for now. If there's a defining moment for Durant, this is it. No ifs, no buts.
All in all, Durant is now averaging a mythical 31.3 points on an outrageous, out-of-this-world percentage of 51.0-41.9-88.1 (total field goal/3-point shooting/free throw), 7.8 rebounds, a block and career-highs 5.2 assists and 1.5 steals a game.
And Durant did it in the absence of Russell Westbrook, who is still out until perhaps a week or two more due to a knee injury.
As for Dwayne Wade, the third of Miami's Big Three, and his "Note to Self" wristband thingy, he had 15 points, a rebound, two assists and two blocks on his first game since sitting it out four straight games due to knee soreness. He was also helpless against Durant, who is probably going to produce his own brand of wristbands with "Show me, Don't Tweet me" on it.
2014 All-Star Top 10: Kevin Durant
See Kevin Durant's Top 10 plays of the season this far that helped him earn a starting position on the West All-Star team.
And yes, Durant has reduced the MVP race to a battle for second place. Unless Durant gets injured (knock on wood) or James start to muster his old Cleveland Cavaliers playing days.
Oh how I love the NBA!
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