Kevin Durant scored 41 points on just 22 shot attempts this Sunday when the Knicks were in town. He also limited Carmelo Anthony to less than half his own scoring total, and got a couple early blocks on ‘Melo to set the tone. But the whole Thunder team made it rough on ‘Melo and KD was one assist short of a triple-double in the win.
It was KD’s defense that stood out in the early going with a pair of first quarter blocks on ‘Melo, including this really impressive one off the ‘Melo fake from beyond the arc. KD bit on the pump-fake before recovering to block ‘Melo from behind.
For the game, KD was 12-for-22 from the field including 4-of-7 from beyond the arc and 13-of-18 from the free throw line. This pull-up on an above-the-break three shows you how impossible it’s become to defend Durantula and he makes it look so easy:
But Durant isn’t just a scorer these days. He also snagged 10 rebounds and finished one assist shy of the triple-double. One of his nine dimes was this slick pocket-pass for the thunderous Serge Ibaka slam.
‘Melo, on the other hand, was 5-of-19 from the field and battled some foul trouble throughout. He pitched in five dimes and seven rebounds, so you can’t say he wasn’t trying hard (and he’s been playing hard all season), but the shots just weren’t falling. In the fourth quarter, KD even ran ‘Melo into the tree trunk screen by Kendrick Perkins :
In a phrase, KD outclassed ‘Melo on Sunday, and some have gone even further and write that KD’s beat out ‘Melo for best pure scorer in the league. He certainly was on Sunday, but he also showed why it’s his passing, defense and rebounding plus the scoring that has him as the frontrunner for MVP this season.
What do you think?
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