Kevin Durant scored 34 points as the Oklahoma City Thunder beat the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden last night 95-94.
It was a big win for the Thunder in what has been one of the most challenging stretches of the season for this team. They’ve risen to the challenge winning six of their last seven games and right now are happy with where they’re at.
“I’m happy with where we are right now,” Durant told SI.com. “We’re starting to hit our stride. We’re playing great defense, moving the ball, taking care of the ball. Of course, we want to be better. But I like where we are.”
“When you lose in the Finals, you just want to start the season off in the playoffs,” Durant said. “But we’re patient. We’re building habits here every single day. I like the direction. Guys are buying into what we’re doing. It’s an exciting time of year.”
The biggest change for the Thunder this season was losing and replacing James Harden. They can’t replace him exactly but they’ve done a good job replacing his scoring punch off the bench with Kevin Martin and his playmaking with Durant and Russell Westbrook each getting better in that area.
The Thunder have the second-best record in the Western Conference right now and are just two and a half games behind the San Antonio Spurs for that No. 1 seed. The Thunder have a good chance of catching the Spurs too if you consider that Tony Parker is likely to miss the next month.
It’s not just about getting back to the NBA Finals this year for OKC but about winning it. Durant and his teammates know that it’s a process though and they have to take it one step at a time.