Wednesday, August 3, 2011
John Lucas, Kevin Durant light it up
By Adry Torres
Special to ESPNdeportes.com
NEW YORK -- One night after scoring 66 points at Rucker Park in Harlem,
Kevin Durant moved downtown for another summer league game, but this time watched Bulls guard John Lucas III put up 60 points.
But Durant got the last laugh at the Pro City summer tournament at a packed gym at Baruch College in the Flatiron district of Manhattan. He scored 41 points and hit a 3-pointer with 5.7 seconds left to send the game to overtime where his team, The Franchise, beat Lucas' squad, Big Apple Basketball, 146-143.
Video highlights of Durant's work at Rucker Park dominated the airwaves Tuesday, and he made it clear that Lucas' performance deserved the same treatment.
"Should be broadcasted by everybody. Everybody should know. The way he played was unbelievable. He got it easier tonight than I got it last night. He had a hell of a game," Durant said.
Lucas shot 22-for-41 from the field and made 6-of-19 3-pointers. He was 10-of-11 from the free throw line and had four assists.
The son of former NBA coach John Lucas, John Lucas III was quick to say he knew that he couldn't win a shootout against the two-time NBA scoring champ.
At times, though, the two went at each other shot for shot and talked to each other throughout.
On one play, Lucas III went to the corner off a screen and hit a jumper over Durant as he faded away and on another play he went directly at Durant for a layup.
"Nah, I was just playing ball," said Lucas III when asked if he was trying to get back at Durant after his team was dominated by Durant the previous night. "Kevin's a scorer. I can't compete with him on the scoring tip. He's 6-9. In a real game, this is what he do. He gets buckets.
"Me? I run the team, orchestrate the team and just make sure I knock down open shots. I'm not going to come down and do what I was doing tonight in a real game. It's summertime. It's all fun and games, but it kind of got competitive. He'd come bucket and say something to me. I'd come at him and say something to him. It was all for fun."
Durant's shot was off throughout the night. He connected on only 9-of-29 shots and missed 10-of-12 3-point attempts, but he did make 21-of-23 free throws. He grabbed six rebounds and had seven assists with four turnovers.
He quickly ruled out fatigue as the reason for missing so many shots.
"I'm used to playing in the summertime every day," Durant said. "It is what it is. I was working on some stuff. My shots from 3 weren't falling but it happens."
Durant was joined by Indiana's Roy Hibbert, New Jersey's Sundiata Gaines and former NBA player Andre Barrett who also starred at Seton Hall. Durant was well aware coming into the game that he wouldn't be able to replicate his Rucker Park performance with the talent on his team.
"I knew I couldn't do that tonight," he said. "It's a lot more guys that (were) on the pro level on my team tonight. This league wasn't like the Rucker. I just tried to go out there and try to get the win."
Durant likes to play in leagues throughout the country during the summer, but he was non-committal about suiting up for a third straight time Wednesday night at Dyckman Park in Washington Heights.
Durant said he would have to wait and see while adding that "I just try to get better man. I like to play in every part of the country to see how the ballers are. I had fun."
Adry Torres is a regular contributor to ESPNdeportes.com.