Kevin Durant has hit plenty of game-winning shots over his seven years in the NBA, ranging from game-winning dunks to game-winning threes. In crunch time, you want the ball in KD’s hands. He’s proven that time and time again.
But even more rare than a Durant game-winner is a game-winning buzzer-beater. We’re talking ball-in-the-air-as-the-buzzer-sounds type buzzer-beaters. Like, 0.00 on the game clock buzzer-beater. No hail mary inbounds plays for the opponent, no replay reviews. Game. Over.
Perhaps the top clutch sniper in the game today, here are the three baddest game-winning buzzer-beaters of KD’s career:
No. 3 — November 16, 2007: In just his tenth career NBA game after being selected No. 2 overall in the ’07 Draft by the Sonics, Durant delivered the first memorable game-winner of his career. KD ended a double-overtime marathon in Atlanta with a top-of-the-key three over Al Horford. Butter, baby. “This is what I live for,” Durant would tell reporters after the game. “I wouldn’t have it any other way.”
No. 2 — January 22, 2011: Poor Danilo Gallinari. In a tie game against the Knicks midway through the 2010-11 season, KD sized up DG, broke him down and cashed a three-pointer from the wing as time expired. It was the final touch on a 30-point performance for Durant. Of the shot, Knicks PG Raymond Felton said after the game, “I’d rather get beat by 15 points than get beat like that.”
No. 1 — December 29, 2011: The 2011-12 season got a late start due to the NBA lockout. But by the fourth game of the year, KD was already on fire again. In a rematch of the previous year’s Western Conference Finals, Durant came off a curl screen with 1.9 seconds left and OKC down by one, rose up and drilled a three-pointer to sink the Mavs. That’s bad. “As a kid, of course you dream about hitting a game-winning shot in the NBA,” Durant would say moments later. “It’s a dream come true.” From there, KD would lead the Thunder to the NBA Finals that season.