Durant Enters Clint-Eastwood Mode Against Portland - News9.com - Oklahoma City, OK - News, Weather, Video and Sports |

Durant Enters Clint-Eastwood Mode Against Portland

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If you haven't seen the movie "Gran Torino," you should. It's excellent.  

Even if you missed it, you've probably heard the now-famous line where a fed up and angry Clint Eastwood scowls at his unwelcome visitors and says "get off my lawn" in a very scary Clint-Eastwood-type way.  

That scene was reenacted Tuesday night at Chesapeake Energy Arena. Playing the role of Eastwood was Kevin Durant, and the unwelcome visitors were the Portland Trailblazers.  

RELATED STORY: Thunder Quotes After Huge Win Over Blazers

The Thunder was 0-2 against Portland entering play on Tuesday, and for much of this third meeting, 0-3 looked like a real possibility.  

But despite trailing for most of the game, Durant never faltered and the Thunder never panicked.  

"Teams have been hitting 3s and tough shots on us but we haven't gotten down on ourselves," Durant said.  "We haven't felt sorry for ourselves, we just kept playing and tonight's another case."  

It took ‘em until the final four minutes of the game, but thanks to Durant, the Thunder finally drew a line in the sand against the upstart Blazers. 

But just like in those Sour Patch Kids commercials, Durant had to get sour before he got sweet.  KD was mugged on multiple possessions without a call, causing his emotions to spill over into a technical foul with 3:45 to play.    

The crowd's booing was off-the-charts loud, and the Thunder was clearly frustrated.  But as it turns out, that moment changed the game.

Sure, Durant said all the right things about the incident after the game.  But that's nothing new.  Durant is consistent in his ability to let things go by the time he reaches the locker room and give a classy, team-first answer.

"It was really a stupid reaction by me, Durant said."  "I coulda hurt my team really badly.  Luckily Lillard missed the free throw and that gave us a little bit of momentum I guess. I can't hurt my team like that."

There's a lot of truth in what KD said there, but don't be fooled.  He was upset, and he had a right to be.   

The technical was issued after a frustrated Durant slammed his hand into the scorer's table and screamed an obscenity.  He was tired of taking constant contact and not earning any trips to the line.

After LaMarcus Aldridge drilled two ensuing free throws to put the Blazers up 95-90, an angry Durant put the Thunder on his back and absolutely took over.  

RELATED STORY: Durant On Fire As Thunder Takes Down Portland

Durant cut the lead to three with a driving layup, but he was just getting started.  After Aldridge missed a 12-foot jumper, Durant grabbed the rebound and the Thunder was headed back down the court with a chance to tie.  

Durant wasted no time, pulling up from the right wing and burying another huge 3 to tie the game.  

Portland coach Terry Stotts called for time, but all that appeared to do was fuel the fire.  As the Thunder crowd exploded, Durant immediately turned to the Portland bench and began screaming at them, seemingly taking out his frustration with the lack of whistles.

Usually when you see someone shout like that, they're going back-and-forth with someone.  But no one on the Portland bench seemed to want anything to do with the NBA's leading scorer.     

After Reggie Jackson and Kendrick Perkins hit huge shots to put Oklahoma City up 99-95 in the final minute, Durant came back to finish the job.  

With 48 second left, he pulled up and drained another huge 3 right in Nic Batum's face, sending the Chesapeake crowd into an even louder frenzy.  In all reality, that was the shot that ended the game, but Kevin Eastwoo, er, Durant wasn't quite done kicking the visiting Blazers off his turf.  

Just for good measure, with 26 second left, Durant drained another contested 3-ball and blew the roof off the building. 

It was a performance for the ages. Fans, media, players — no one could really believe what they were watching.

Perkins, who has played with the likes of Paul Pierce, Ray Allen and Kevin Garnett in Boston, said that Durant's performance is unlike anything he's ever seen.  

"I've played with some pretty good players, man, but what he's doing right now is on a whole ‘nother level," Perkins said.  "His confidence in them 3s he's hitting. I don't know, like, he's in a zone. And I'm happy for him."

When asked about Durant's performance, Thunder coach Scott Brooks was nearly speechless.  

"There's no question we are seeing an amazing player develop in front of our eyes," Brooks said.  "That's one of the big reasons why I started wearing my glasses during the game, so that I could see that.  He's an amazing young man that takes a lot of pride in what he does, and how he plays, and how he represents our city.  Smart player, a great player, great teammate.  I love the guy and I'm proud of the way he represents us and he does it every night."

The Blazers have led the Northwest division for a vast majority of the season, but not anymore.  Durant was tired of it, and as he rained one clutch jumper after another, two things became abundantly clear: this is the Thunder's divison, and Kevin Durant is the baddest man on the block.

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