NBA Game Summary - Memphis at Oklahoma City
(Wednesday, April 14th)
Final Score: Oklahoma City 114, Memphis 105
Oklahoma City, OK (Sports Network) - Kevin Durant finished with 31 points to formally wrap up the NBA's scoring title, as the Oklahoma City Thunder tuned up for the playoffs with a 114-105 win over the Memphis Grizzlies.
Durant entered Wednesday's game averaging 30.1 points per game, safely ahead of Cleveland's LeBron James (29.7 ppg). James did not play Wednesday in the Cavaliers' season finale, leaving Durant the stage, and the Thunder star put an exclamation point on his title, hitting 12-of-18 shots while also grabbing seven rebounds.
Durant, at 21 years and 197 days old, becomes the youngest scoring champion in NBA history and the first player in Oklahoma City/Seattle franchise history to take that title.
"It feels good," Durant said. "It's going to be cool to go home and my friends say, 'You were the scoring champ at 21 years old.' It's a blessing. It's something I can't take for granted."
Jeff Green added 16 points for Oklahoma City, which had already been locked into the eighth seed and will face the defending NBA champion Los Angeles Lakers in the first round. That series begins Sunday.
The Thunder ended their regular season 50-32, the first time the franchise has reached the 50-win mark since 2004-05, when the Seattle SuperSonics went 52-30.
Rudy Gay had 25 points to lead Memphis, which ended its season at 40-42, a vast improvement over 2008-09, when the Grizzlies went 24-58.
"It was an improvement by 16 games over last year," said Memphis head coach Lionel Hollins. "We had some great improvement in individual players as well. We've got a long ways to go. Every team in the West won 50 games to make the playoffs. We won 40. So we've got some games to go to where we need to be."
Durant scored 14 points in the first quarter, as Oklahoma City jumped out to a 38-26 advantage.
The Thunder opened the second quarter with two free throws from James Harden and a jumper by Eric Maynor and pushed their lead above 20 later in the stanza. Maynor hit a jumper to start a seven-point burst that put Oklahoma City up 54-32 with 4:42 left.
The Thunder continued to pull away and held a 71-49 lead at the break.
Oklahoma City was held to just 19 points in the third quarter but was still up by double digits, 90-78, moving to the fourth. The Grizzlies rallied to get within 97-91 with 6:54 left, but Maynor and Harden followed with baskets, and the Thunder held on from there.
Durant broke the record held by Max Zaslofsky (22 years, 105 days), who led the league in scoring in 1947-48, when the champion was determined by total points scored...Oklahoma City won two of the three matchups with Memphis this season...The Thunder finished the year 27-14 at home, while the Grizzlies were 17-24 on the road...Memphis lost six of its last seven games of the season...Randolph had 21 points and 11 boards for the Grizzlies.
04/15 01:49:59 ET