Durant among kings of the buzzer-beater
December, 30, 2011
By ESPN Stats & Information
Kevin Durant's shot chart from Thursday's win. More shot charts from this game available here.
Kevin Durant showed himself to be the ultimate scoring option for the Oklahoma City Thunder in their dramatic win over the Dallas Mavericks on Thursday night.
Here’s a rundown of some of our noteworthy research nuggets from his buzzer-beating shot, the first in the NBA this season.
• It was the third game-winning buzzer-beater for the Thunder since the team moved to Oklahoma City, the seventh by the franchise in the last 10 seasons.
Durant's others came on Nov. 16, 2007 against the Hawks and Jan. 22, 2011 against the Knicks. His three game-winning buzzer-beaters since the start of the 2007-08 season are tied for the most in the NBA in that span.
• It’s only the second come-from-behind such shot for the Thunder in that span (meaning the shot came while trailing in the game), the other being Jeff Green’s against the Warriors on Jan. 21, 2009.
• Durant is the fourth player in the last 30 seasons to start a season by scoring at least 30 points in his team's first four games. He joins elite company, as noted in the chart on the right.
• In the last four seasons, Durant has 101 games in which he scored at least 30 points, the most in the NBA in that span.
• Video review shows that Durant has opened the season by making 9 of 18 shots in catch-and-shoot situations. Last season, Durant shot 43 percent on catch-and-shoots, fifth-best on his own team.
• Through four games, Durant has scored 125 points. The other starters for Oklahoma City have combined to score 135 points.
• This is the fourth game-winning buzzer-beating 3-pointer for the Thunder/SuperSonics franchise in the last 10 seasons. That matches the most of any team in that time period, tied with the Wizards, Kings, Knicks and Lakers.
• The last NBA regular-season game with two go-ahead 3-pointers with less than three seconds remaining also involved Durant and the Thunder.
It was Jan. 2, 2009 (Nuggets at Thunder), when Kevin Durant hit a 3-pointer with 2.7 seconds left to put the Thunder ahead before Carmelo Anthony hit a 3-pointer with 0.1 seconds left to give the Nuggets the win.
The Thunder had four wins after that game as well. The loss made them 4-30 for the season.
• The Mavericks lost on a buzzer-beating shot for the second straight season (Arron Afflalo beat them last February). Prior to Afflalo’s shot, the Mavericks went three seasons without allowing a buzzer-beater.
• The buzzer-beater may not have happened had the Mavericks made some of their easier shots early in the quarter. Dallas was 0-for-9 in the paint in the final 12 minutes of the game.
• The loss dropped the Mavericks to 0-3, making them the second defending champion to start a season 0-3. The Elias Sports Bureau notes that the other is the 1969-70 Boston Celtics, the season after Bill Russell retired.
Other statistical highlights
Dwight Howard finished with 24 rebounds Thursday versus the Nets, two shy of his career high.
It was his 49th career 20-rebound game, the most among active players.
Plus-Minus Note of the Night
The San Antonio Spurs were outscored by 28 points with Tim Duncan on the floor on Thursday night.
His minus-28 is the third-worst plus-minus he's had in any regular-season game in his career, surpassed by a pair of minus-29 games against the Lakers (in the 2003-04 and 2010-11 seasons).