Found May 04, 2013 on Fox Sports Southwest:
Let's call it an "edge" Kevin Durant had in the Houston series. It's not that Durant has ever been soft, but since he entered the NBA he has been one of the most likable stars in American sports. Something changed, though, in this first-round series against the Houston Rockets. In the series-clinching 103-94 win Friday in Houston, Durant got a technical foul for a little confrontation with Omer Asik. More than once in the series he could be heard shouting into the crowd that Houston was "(his) city," a confusing declaration for a guy from Washington D.C. Then TNT analyst Shaquille O'Neal accused him of pouting during a Game 5 loss. After Rockets rookie Royce White sent Durant a Twitter message saying the Thunder were "shaky," Durant took a little swipe at White's fear of flying, saying, "Ain't that the guy that can't, that's afraid to fly? I wish him the best." So it was eventful. It wasn't that Durant ever did anything controversial or wrong or underhanded or anything like that. It was just that there was a little more hot sauce in the gumbo this week. "I was starting to hate those guys," Durant said Friday night. "I was starting to hate every one of those guys on their team." There were some obvious reasons for that. Rockets point guard Patrick Beverly knocked Thunder guard Russell Westbrook out of the playoffs with a steal attempt in Game 1 that was annoying at best, bush league at worst. That play changed everything about the series and the Thunder's chances at an NBA title. And this all happened a matter of days after Durant made a big ol' deal about how tired he is of being second. Second pick in the draft, second in scoring, second in the Finals last year. This is the kind of thing you say whenyou really believe you're going to be first this time. It was the big setup, a defining narrative, and it was torn apart like Westbrook's meniscus. For the next five games, it was all on Durant and he knew it and the Rockets knew it. Houston's defensive approach was desperate, maybe funny. The 2012-13 Rockets were one of the worst defensive teams in the NBA, and they made it simple for themselves. They were going to swarm around Durant and just hope Thabo Sefolosha, Reggie Jackson, Kevin Martin and Derek Fisher missed. That worked in Games 4 and 5. The Rockets didn't really stop Durant, but everybody else missed. Until Friday. Friday, Martin and Fisher combined to go 6-for-10 from the 3-point line, and the Thunder made five threes on top of that. Then it came to Jackson. "We don't want him to be Russell," Durant said. "We want him to be himself." Jackson had 17 points, eight rebounds and seven assists in 44 minutes. And that was how the series was decided. Houston didn't shoot particularly well Friday (41 percent), but the Rockets made 14 3-pointers, they outrebounded the Thunder by two and they held Durant to a manageable 27-point night on 11-for-23 shooting. But when it came right down to the time when the series was going to get closed out or moved back to Oklahoma City for a scary Game 7, the league's fastest-paced offense started to bog. Without any serious low-post scoring threat, the Rockets needed James Harden and Chandler Parsons to make some hero shots, and they were all heroed out by then. The Thunder won the fourth quarter 25-17. "You could see us growing up as the game went along," Durant said. So the series was won and over and Durant lurched into the postgame press conference the way 6-foot-9 guys do. He had on that backpack and a T-shirt and he looked and sounded very much like that kid everybody knows and likes, the Olympian, the Doodle Jump guy, the great teammate. And about that hate thing? Maybe that was a little strong. "It's not like I don't like any of those guys on the team," he said. "It's just competing against them so hard."
THE BACKYARD
BEST OF MAXIM
RELATED ARTICLES
ICE WATER

Durant buries game-winner against Grizzlies

As time was running down in game one of the Western Conference Semifinals between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the Memphis Grizzlies, Memphis lead by one and had the ball with a chance to extend their lead. After a turnover by Mike Conley, Thunder forward Kevin Durant had the ball in his hands with a chance to give the Thunder the lead and didn’t dissapoint as he drained the eventual...

Video: Kevin Durant strikes a low blow to Chandler Parsons

Kevin Durant had a strong showing on Friday night as he helped the Oklahoma City Thunder advance to the Western Conference Semifinals.  Durant posted 27 points and eight rebounds on the stat sheet  in the Thunder’s first win over the Houston Rockets since starting point guard Russell Westbrook went down. The Thunder fought back from an eight-point third quarter deficit to win...

Kevin Durant hits Game-Winning Shot Against Grizzlies (Video)

  Game 1 of the second round match up between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the Memphis Grizzlies took place today at Chesapeake Energy Arena. The Grizzlies lead for virtually the entire game, but the Thunder battled back in the fourth quarter and found themselves down by one with time winding down and the ball in Kevin Durant’s hand. Watch the video to see what happened next:

Kevin Durant Hits Big Go-Ahead Bucket In Game 1 Vs. Grizzlies

Kevin Durant gave the Thunder a 1-0 series lead on the Grizzlies Sunday afternoon with a go-ahead game-winner with 11.1 seconds remaining.  Durant grabbed the loose ball after Mike Conley committed the turnover on a drive to the hoop and dribbled into a midrange jumper, his 12th points of the fourth quarter to give the Thunder a 91-90 lead – and eventual 93-91 win.

Kevin Durant On Intentional Foul Strategy: ‘Hack-A-Whatever His Name Is’

In the fourth quarter of the Rockets’ 107-100 Game 5 victory, the Thunder utilized a strategy of fouling the Omer Asik, a 52.7% career free throw shooter, intentionally in hopes of making a comeback. The strategy backfired as Asik made 7-of-12 and Kevin Durant seemed to have a hard time remembering the Rockets starting center’s name when asked about the fouls after the loss...

Kevin Durant fires back at Royce White: ‘Who is that?’

Houston D-Leaguer Royce White trash talked Kevin Durant over Twitter, but it doesn't really work if the Thunder star doesn't even know who you are.

Durant, Thunder edge Grizzlies 93-91 in Game 1

OKLAHOMA CITY -- Down by one in the final minute, the Oklahoma City's Derek Fisher turned a tough situation for the Thunder into the worst-case scenario for the Grizzlies. Fisher poked the ball away from Memphis' Mike Conley, springing three-time NBA scoring champion Kevin Durant into the open court with a chance to put the Thunder on top. Durant pulled up and connected...

Rockets Player calls out Durant on Twitter

After being down 3-0 the Houston Rockets have won two straight games over the Oklahoma City Thunder. After game 5 one of the Rockets bench warmers called Kevin Durant out on Twitter. Royce White is not even a bench warmer; he is not with the Rockets for the playoffs. White suffers from an anxiety disorder, and has not played for the Rockets all season long. He has spent time in the...

Durant, Thunder edge Grizzlies in Game 1

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) -- Kevin Durant scored 35 points and hit a pair of jumpers in the final minute to lift the Oklahoma City Thunder to a 93-91 victory over the Memphis Grizzlies on Sunday in Game 1 of the Western Conference semifinals. Derek Fisher poked the ball away from Mike Conley to spring Durant the other way, and he pulled up to make a shot with 11.1 seconds left that put...

Kevin Durant on Royce White: ‘Ain’t that the guy that’s afraid to fly?’

More often than not, taunting an opponent on Twitter is something that will make a player look bad. If you are a D-League player taunting an NBA team and one of the best players in the game, you are always going to look bad. Royce White gave us a perfect example of that earlier this week when he sent a tweet at Kevin Durant about how the Oklahoma City Thunder are starting to look...

Durant Responds To Royce White’s Twitter Trash Talk: “Who Is That?”

Kevin Durant has responded to Royce White’s Twitter taunts, and he did it with a dagger.  Royce watched the Rockets 107-100 win over OKC this past Wednesday night and then took to Twitter to take some unwarranted shots at Durant. #bbpBox_329816397309964288 a { text-decoration:none; color:#256E16; }#bbpBox_329816397309964288 a:hover { text-decoration:underline; }@KDTrey5... Y&...

Kevin Durant on Royce White: “Who is That?”

  Yesterday we reported that Houston Rockets first-round draftee Royce White, was trolling Oklahoma City Thunder forward Kevin Durant via Twitter on Wednesday night following their loss to the team he has yet to play for this season. Well per the Houston Chronicle, when told of White’s cyber taunts towards him, Durant asked a legitimate question. “Who is that?” Durant said...

Durant, Martin help Thunder finish series with Rockets

HOUSTON (AP) -- Kevin Durant scored 27 points and Kevin Martin added 25 to lead the Oklahoma City Thunder to a 103-94 victory over the Houston Rockets on Friday night, sending them to the second round of the playoffs for the third straight season. The Rockets were looking to become just the fourth team in NBA history to force a Game 7 after trailing 3-0. But the Thunder opened...

Royce White trolls Kevin Durant on Twitter following Rockets win over Thunder

Royce White hasn’t played a minute of NBA basketball this season. As a matter of fact, we don’t know if or when we’ll ever see him touch the court. On Wednesday night, White was a spectator like the rest of us enjoying playoff basketball as his Rockets faced off against the Oklahoma City Thunder for their playoff livelihood. Following the Rockets scrappy comeback win, White...
NBA News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.