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MMPG: Player of the Week

Kevin Durant, Oklahoma City Thunder


There is nothing to distract me from getting better in Oklahoma City. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)

He may not have taken over Madison Square Garden with a 60-point game or a (near) triple-double, but Oklahoma City forward and District native Kevin Durant continued his steady progression and led the Thunder (13-38) to its best week of the season. Durant averaged 33.7 points and shot 55 percent (38 for 69) from the field as the Thunder recorded wins against Portland and Sacramento, and came within another Carmelo Anthony last-second jumper of going 3-0.

Durant scored 31 points against the Denver Nuggets on Wednesday, making the go-ahead basket with 17.2 seconds left, but Anthony had the final answer in a disappointing 114-113 loss. Two nights later, Durant didn't hang his head as he squared off for the first time against 2007 No. 1 pick Greg Oden. Durant, who was taken second after Oden, scored 31 points to lead the Thunder to a win over Portland. He followed that up by scoring 39 points in a 116-113 victory over the Kings.

Durant has been on a roll since the coaches chose not to put him on the Western Conference all-star team. Durant has scored 30 or more points in four consecutive games and five of his past six overall. In his past 11 games, Durant is averaging 32 points and the Thunder is 6-5. He will still be in Phoenix as a member of the sophomore team in the rookie challenge. But it is only a matter of time before he joins the West elite. Dallas in 2010 is a strong possibility.



By Michael Lee  |  February 9, 2009; 11:24 AM ET
 
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