Kevin Durant.

Kevin Durant insists he knew he'd bounce back after worst shooting night of his career

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Everybody has an off-night every now and again, but those moments are few and far between for a talent like Kevin Durant.

The Oklahoma City Thunder forward finished third in the scorers list during the regular season, only behind James Harden and Stephen Curry. However, in the Thunder's game two loss to the Dallas Mavericks during their first-round Western Conference playoff tie, Durant had a difficult time.

The 2014 MVP went 7-for-33 in shooting and only managed to drop 21 points to officially record the worst shooting night of his career.

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Missing 26 shots is enough to harm anyone's confidence, but the fact that the Thunder also narrowly lost that playoff game made them all the more haunting.

However, Durant graced the AT&T Arena for game three on Thursday night and put any anxiety he had to bed. The 27-year-old scored 20 points in the first half, on 7-of-9 shooting, on his way to posting 34 points in the Thunder's 131-102 blowout win.

Durant seemed relieved with his contribution, but always knew he would bounce back:

"I was thinking about this earlier," he said, "I know how fighters feel when they lose a fight and they've got the rematch coming, but it's a year later. That's how it felt for me."

Dallas Mavericks v Oklahoma City Thunder - Game One

"When I go out there and play well, I don't throw a party for myself afterward," Durant said. "When I play terrible, I'm not going to change anything up, I'm not going to feel sorry for myself. I'm going to go out there and do the same thing I've been doing. It's a marathon, not a sprint."

Durant's teammate, Nick Collison, commended his frontcourt partner on how he handled the disappointing performance. Noting how Durant mucked in on defence instead of sulking about his poor night.

"He didn't overreact," Collison said. "He's confident in what he does. And the rest of the team, of course, we have a ton of faith in him and I think we just didn't overreact. We looked at the film and we didn't buy into the narrative that we lost because he missed a lot of shots. There were other things we did that we can do better."

"Even within that game, he continued to compete on both ends," he continued. "There are times where he would've let that affect him in the past, for sure. He's a lot more mature, he's shown a lot more maturity and it's great for us. When he's engaged on the defensive end, we're so much better."

At 35-years-old and having spent his entire career with the franchise - both in Seattle and Oklahoma - Collison has seen Durant from his formative years as a raw 18-year-old prospect into the elite scorer he is today.

Will Durant channel his form from game three for the rest of the playoffs?

Dallas Mavericks
Southwest Division
Western Conference
Oklahoma City Thunder
Northwest Division
Russell Westbrook
Kevin Durant

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