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Kevin Durant scores career-high 54 points on just 28 shots

You know how LeBron James said he was jealous of the amount of shots Kevin Durant takes? Maybe he should really be jealous of how many shots Durant makes.

Durant went for a career-high 54 points on Friday night in a 127-121 win over the Golden State Warriors. He made 19 shots on 28 attempts including 5-of-9 from 3-point range. He also was 11-of-13 from the free throw line.

Durant was just superb throughout the game. He made shots in isolation, on catch-and-shoots, and when he was coming off screens. Most of the damage he did from the right side of the court, where he hardly missed a shot. Here was his shot chart via NBA.com:

Kevin Durant 54 points

Durant’s 54-point game is the high mark for the NBA this season. He surpassed the previous mark of 48, which he set twice (Jan. 4 and Jan. 7). Durant’s previous career high was 52 points. This was his third career 50-point game. The Thunder are 2-1 in his big games, which happen to coincide with running mate Russell Westbrook being out with an injury.

Durant’s huge game led to some great tweets, none better than the one sent by teammate Nick Collison:

Russell Westbrook sent a good one too:

And the Warriors had to send their recognition:

Stats via Point Forward Pro

Kevin Durant: Media blew up LeBron James ‘jealous’ comments for no reason

Kevin Durant LeBron James

Kevin Durant doesn’t think much of LeBron James’ recent comments that he’s jealous of the amount of field goals KD attempts.

When asked on Thursday about LeBron’s comments, Durant pretended like he hadn’t heard what James said before admitting it was unavoidable because it was everywhere.

“Ya’ll blowing that out of proportion, man. I mean, I’m pretty sure, matter of fact, I’m 100 percent sure LeBron can do whatever he wants,” Durant said via The Oklahoman.

That’s true. Even though LeBron said he was jealous of the amount of shots Durant was taking, it’s not like LeBron can’t take those shots; James chooses not to because he’s made it a goal to be efficient, which is a good reason why his field goal percentage is higher than ever.

“There’s probably a handful of times I shot 30 times,” Durant said. “I’m sure he’s shot more 30-shot games than I have over his career. But I guess the guy is just trying to challenge himself. I don’t know. But you guys are blowing that up for no reason.”

If Durant is going to be mad at anyone, it should be LeBron for mentioning him, not the media for reacting accordingly to a surprising comment. I mean LeBron James has a great basketball game and seems to have everything going for him. That’s why it’s surprising to hear him say he’s jealous of anyone in a basketball context. When you’ve been blessed with the gifts LeBron has, how can you possibly be jealous of someone else?

As for Durant’s field goals, they’ve been up recently since Russell Westbrook got hurt. Despite being a tremendous player and gifted shooter, Durant doesn’t even gun the way many others do.

I wouldn’t think much of LeBron’s comments if I were Durant. It’s not like we’re talking about Kobe or Rudy Gay or JR Smith in terms of throwing up shots here.

LeBron James: I’m jealous of how many shots Kevin Durant takes

lebron-james-kevin-durantLeBron James has never really been known for taking a ton of shots from the field. Considering he is one of the best scorers in NBA history, it is pretty remarkable how much LeBron shares the ball. He is averaging 26.0 points per game this season, which is tied for second in the NBA. He has done that by taking just 16.1 shots per game — the 18th most in the league.

Simply put, LeBron is efficient. His 59.1% shooting from the field this season is a career high. Kevin Durant, on the other hand, shoots a ton. He averages 19.4 shots per game and is shooting 49% from the field. Apparently LeBron envies that style of play.

“I get jealous sometimes when I look over at KD and he’s like 16-for-32 (from the field) and then 14-for-34. … Man,” James told ESPN’s Tom Haberstroh earlier this week. “I’m not much of a forced-shot guy. But there are games where I have it going, and then at the end of the game, I’m like, damn, I shot just 12-for-16? Why don’t I get up at least six or seven more? I definitely notice it.”

What’s ironic is that Durant recently criticized himself for “flat out shooting too much” and not getting his teammates involved. The Oklahoma City Thunder star tied a career high with 34 shot attempts in a loss to the Utah Jazz last week. Still, LeBron praised Durant’s courage.

“First of all, you have to have an unbelievable mindset to get up 30 shots,” James said. “I always think about it, though. If I get up high-20s, 30 shots a game, what could I do today, with the way I’m playing?”

LeBron has to keep guys like Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh involved, whereas the Thunder’s other big scorer, Russell Westbrook, has appeared in just 25 games this season because of various injuries. What works for one team doesn’t necessarily work for another, and Miami and Oklahoma City have almost identical records. For the most part, both LeBron and KD should just keep doing what they’re doing.

Kevin Durant and girlfriend/fiancee Monica Wright supposedly taking a break

Kevin Durant Monica Wright

Kevin Durant and his girlfriend/fiancee Monica Wright are supposedly taking a break in their relationship.

Durant and Wright, a WNBA player for the Minnesota Lynx, got engaged in July. Wright was playing for a Korean basketball team briefly, but she left the team last month. The reason for her departure has been debated, but Media Take Out says she left because her father had a health scare. In the same report, Media Take Out says Durant and Wright are on a break, and they cite photos of Wright not wearing her engagement ring, and some of the social media messages she’s been posting, as their evidence.

Here’s a photo Wright posted on Dec. 22 that appears to show her ring is not on her ring finger:

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Jay-Z and Beyonce sit in Kevin Durant’s courtside seats

Jay-Z Beyonce basketballKevin Durant’s got friends and business partners in high places.

There was a buzz going around on Thursday that Jay-Z and Beyonce would be in attendance for the Oklahoma City Thunder’s nationally-televised game against the Los Angeles Clippers. That turned out to be accurate.

Royce Young of DailyThunder.com added another detail to the story — the power couple were sitting in KD’s courtside seats — and he supplied the photo:

Durant in June joined Jay-Z’s Roc Nation sports agency and became the rapper’s most high-profile client. There haven’t been many business moves since Jay-Z’s repped Durant that we know of, aside from KD’s Gatorade deal expiring. But we do know that the Thunder star has a lot of pull since he has HOV and Beyonce coming to his games.

Kevin Durant-Dwyane Wade beef not a Gatorade promotion

Kevin Durant Dwyane Wade

Many suspected the beef between Kevin Durant and Dwyane Wade that was manifested over social media this week was just a promotion for Gatorade. After all, the two were featured in a commercial for the sports beverage last year. Now there seems to be definitive proof that this issue had nothing to do with Gatorade.

[Previously: Dwyane Wade and Kevin Durant in beef over top 10 slight]

ESPN’s Darren Rovell reported on Friday that Durant’s deal with Gatorade will expire next week and not be renewed. He also says the deal expiring has nothing to do with Durant’s issues with Wade.

I didn’t think the beef was manufactured for a few reasons. For one, the setup for how the whole thing came up was too random. Durant was asked by CineSport to evaluate a top-10 players list and said James Harden should replace Wade. That question would have had to have been planted by CineSport, which seemed unlikely. Secondly, Durant is a guy who speaks his mind, so it’s not too surprising to hear him set rankings the way he sees fit. Lastly, Durant was doing promotional work for Degree when he made his comments, not Gatorade.

I could be wrong about this one, but it seems like Durant parting ways with Gatorade is pretty solid proof that this whole thing was real and not staged.

Additionally, some Houston Rockets players like Dwight Howard and Harden said the beef was real.

Durant was asked on Friday about his feud with Wade and decided to offer some praise of the Miami Heat guard.

“Dwyane Wade is a great, great player, man,” Durant said via Eye on Basketball’s Royce Young. “I’m not discrediting anything he’s done or nothing like that. I just voiced my opinion. He’s a great, great player. Finals MVP and champion. I didn’t mean to disrespect that or take that away or anything. I just voiced my opinion as of today. I love you D-Wade, man. It’s just competition.”

Seriously, what’s the issue? Wade isn’t a top-10 player anymore. Why isn’t Durant allowed to say that without people freaking out?

Dwyane Wade and Kevin Durant in beef over top 10 slight

Kevin Durant Dwyane Wade

Dwyane Wade and Kevin Durant are in a social media beef over Durant’s perceived diss of the Miami Heat all-star.

It all started on Tuesday when Durant was making the rounds doing some interviews on behalf of Degree. KD appeared on multiple programs to conduct interviews, but his interview with CineSport’s Noah Coslov created the headlines.

During the interview, Coslov mentioned that SI published their Top 100 players of 2014, and asked for Durant’s opinion of the top 10.

Here were their top 10 players:

    1. LeBron James
    2. Kevin Durant
    3. Chris Paul
    4. Tony Parker
    5. Russell Westbrook
    6. Tim Duncan
    7. Dwight Howard
    8. Dwyane Wade
    9. Kobe Bryant
    10. Carmelo Anthony

When asked who was missing from the list, Durant said his former Oklahoma City Thunder teammate, James Harden. Coslov then asked who Harden should replace on the list and, without hesitation, Durant said Wade. You can watch the video below:

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