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News » Durant at ease entering third year

Durant at ease entering third year

Durant at ease entering third year On the day before he opens his third NBA season, Kevin Durant was comfortable for the first time. The Thunder's biggest star said Tuesday that he has a mentality going into tonight's game against Sacramento that he hadn't had in either of his two previous seasons.

"I feel good," Durant said. "This time the last two years I was shaking. I had butterflies. But now I'm calm and I'm ready to play. I'm the leader of this team. They follow me, so I've got to be calm and go out there and lead us."

Durant, who is expected to build on last year's averages of 25.3 points, 6.5 rebounds and 2.8 assists, said his newfound peace has made him much more confident.

"Last year, going into games I would think too much," Durant said. "Just small, stupid things I would think about. But now I'm just calm and ready to play. I'm just more focused and hopefully I can go out there and help our team get some more wins."


Rookie James Harden said it still hasn't set in that he's in the NBA. But the No. 3 overall pick said he expects that moment to arrive tonight as he makes his debut against Sacramento.

"(I'm) excited, but I can't get too pumped up," Harden said. "When I get out there on the court I want to go out there and relax and just have fun."

Harden will come off the bench behind Thabo Sefolosha. The 6-foot-5 shooting guard averaged 12.2 points, 3.2 rebounds and 2.0 assists in six preseason games.

"I think he's going to be one of the main guys that's going to help us off the bench," Durant said. "That's a key role in this league, having a good sixth man. I think he's going to be that for us."


Thunder coach Scott Brooks said his starting lineup tonight will be Russell Westbrook, Sefolosha, Durant, Jeff Green and Nenad Krstic... Thunder radio voice Matt Pinto has joined KSBI-DT in a contributing sportscaster role. Pinto will contribute a two minute game-day report entitled "ThunderTV Game Day Insider with Matt Pinto." Starting with tonight's opener, it can be seen three hours prior to every game...The Thunder will open the season with a free pregame block party on Reno Ave. beginning at 4 p.m. today. Two BMX stunt shows are scheduled, and other entertainment includes a concert by country musician Mark McKinney and an autograph session with the Thunder Girls. All fans attending the game also will receive a complimentary Thunder schedule magnet.

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Added: October 30, 2009


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