The Norman Transcript

Local Sports

January 29, 2014

Durant and James set to square off in season’s first meeting

Thunder ride eight game win streak into Miami

(Continued)

NORMAN —

“Don’t get it twisted thinking he hasn’t been a great all-around player,” James told the Sun Sentinel. “Playing more games, you get more and more comfortable and you start to expand your game. When you have talent and you work at that talent, things become second nature. KD rebounding and making plays for his teammates is something he’s always been able to do.”

But Durant isn’t just putting up points for the sake of putting up points. His team has needed him to take over in the fourth quarter. That included scoring 13 points and hitting a game-winning shot Monday against Atlanta.

“Superstars are the guys who take over at the end of games, and there are a few of them,” Atlanta’s Kyle Korver said. “Kevin Durant is probably doing it better than anyone else right now. We tried to double him, and he went the other way and made a tough shot.”

Durant’s streak of spectacular games have come against some of the best teams in the league. Portland, Golden State and San Antonio have all felt the sting of the Durantula.

However, the Heat are a different breed. Most experts believe they’ve sleepwalked through much of this first half of the season. Only waking up for encounters with the Pacers and the Spurs.

With so many outside observers now proclaiming the Thunder as the team to beat and Durant as heir to the “King’s” throne, there is almost no doubt Oklahoma City will see Miami at its best tonight.

“Of course we respect our opponent, but we don’t come into the game saying we have to stop this guy,” Durant said. “We have to stop the whole team. Just have to focus on us and do what we do.”

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