Durant Focusing on Staying Calm, Poised
“I just want to be calm and composed and poised in those situations and make the right basketball play,” (Kevin) Durant said. “There are times when I need to pass to my teammates and times when I need to score. …Sometimes it’s nerve-wracking playing those games like that. But I just try to calm down and go with my instincts.”
Durant’s lesson in poise came from Dirk Nowitzki and the Dallas Mavericks a year ago. Down 2-1 to Mavs in last season’s West finals, the Thunder looked ready to even the series after building a 15-point lead with about five minutes left in Game 4. Durant threw in a 3-pointer then celebrated by pantomiming as if he were fastening a championship belt around his waist like Aaron Rodgers at the Super Bowl. He looked silly and immature, and the Mavericks treated him as such. Durant wouldn’t make another shot the rest of the game, missing all six of his attempts and committing two costly turnovers as the Thunder wasted their lead and lost in overtime.