Kevin Durant was a minute and change away from once again adding his name to yet another sensational short list. And once again, his team’s dominance kept him from fulfilling a remarkable individual achievement. Durant scored a game-high 41 points with 10 rebounds and nine assists in the Thunder’s 112-100 win over New York on Sunday afternoon inside Chesapeake Energy Arena. He was one assist shy of becoming only the eighth player since the 1985-86 season to score at least 40 points with 10 rebounds and 10 assists. The others to do it are Larry Bird, Michael Jordan, Vince Carter, Tracy McGrady, Michael Adams, LeBron James and Chris Webber. “KD’s a stat filler,” said Thunder coach Scott Brooks. “He’s going to have many games, many opportunities to have a large number of points, assists and rebounds. I never worry about personal records. It’s not something that we do as an organization. It’s great if he does accomplish them within the flow of the game. But I think you just do what’s right and live with the results.” That’s why, with 1:24 remaining, Brooks subbed out Durant despite his star needing that final assist, a dish that also would have captured Durant’s third triple-double this year. The two stood near the team’s bench, briefly discussing the matter before Durant ultimately took a seat. Rather than remain in the game and continue assaulting the reeling Knicks, Durant and Brooks decided the 14-point cushion at that juncture was more than enough. “It’d have been cool to stay in,” Durant said, laughing. “But whatever. We won the basketball game. That’s all that matters. No doubt it would have been cool to get that. But at the same time, it’s all about the ‘W.’ I’m glad we won.” A half minute before his exit, Durant nearly notched the triple-double. He swung the ball to Serge Ibaka at the left of the free throw line, but Ibaka passed on an open shot and instead drove into traffic. The possession ended in a shot clock violation.
Kevin Durant scores 41 as OKC beats Knicks
The Oklahoman | Feb 10