Did you hear thunder Wednesday night? Or, perhaps the growl of a cougar? You may have, only it came in the form of Kevin Durant and Jimmer Fredette’s wild shooting displays. The Oklahoma Thunder forward and Brigham Young Cougar guard made a lot of noise on the court last night, combining for 90 points in a pair of offensive explosions that set the NBA and college hoops on fire. Durant’s 47 and Fredette’s 43 point performances were not only blowing up highlight shows everywhere, they also ignited the question: who had the better performance? Check out my breakdown of the two scoring machines and let me know what you think in the comments.
Durant:The Minnesota Timberwolves did everything to stop the NBA’s leading scorer. Yet, the ’Wolves defense couldn’t contain Durant, whose 47 points were a career and season high for him. After a bit of a slow start (he missed nine of his first 14 shots), Durant got into rhythm, nailing four treys from downtown and 13-of-14 free throws. His remarkable ability to shoot from anywhere on the court came in handy when the OKC star hit the game-winner on a sweet fallaway jumper, even with a defender right in his face. Oh, and let’s not forget his 18 rebounds to boot!
Fredette:Just like Durant, Fredette scored everywhere on the hardwood. He shot 14-of-24 from the field and was 5-of-8 from behind the arc, not to mention it was the third time he topped the 40-point mark in the last four games. A mouthful, huh? Fredette missed only one shot in his 11 free throw attempts. His 43 points are the most scored by a BYU player at the Marriott Center, where the Cougars took on the San Diego State Aztecs. Sure, a big scoring game in front a sell-out home crowd is big, but the nation’s leading scorer proved he’s a reliable shooting threat even against top-ranked teams. Now that’s big.
Durant:The game should’ve been an easy-peasy win for OKC against the 10-35 Wolves, right? Not so fast. Minnesota made the 29-16 Thunder work for their W. In a game that had eight lead changes in the final three and half minutes before heading into overtime, Durant was the Thunder’s go-to guy while fighting off the defensive efforts of Wolves lanky guard Corey Brewer. Durant not only put up stellar numbers, he came through when it counted most. With 28 seconds left in OT, Durant’s clutch 15-foot jumper over Brewer in OT lifted the Thunder to a 118-117 victory. A 40-plus point game is awesome, but the money shot made all the difference in putting his team over the top.
Fredette:While Durant and the Thunder were staving off a subpar Minnesota team, Fredette and his No. 9 Cougars were going toe-to-toe in a physical match against the unbeaten No. 4 Aztecs. Fredette found the bottom of the net consistently with his 58 percent shooting. Feeding Fredette the ball, the Cougars were sure his steady shooting would give them boost past the Aztecs, as the rest of the BYU squad only scored 28 points as a group. A top-notch performance against top-notch competition says a lot about the college senior. He can deliver under pressure and make it look almost effortless. Speaking of effortless, Fredette’s performance helped the Cougars pull away with a 71-58 win, handing the Aztecs their first loss of the season.
TALK OF THE TOWN
At the end of the night, buzz surrounded Durant and Fredette as the sports world raved about their incredible scoring night. As the headlines and blogs scream how “Jimmerific” the guard was, Durant was also very “Durantastic” in a performance worthy of his dangerous nickname, The Durantula.
Durant took to Twitter to praise Fredette, tweeting “Jimmer Fredette is the best scorer in the world!!” And while Fredette said he appreciated the compliment during a post-game interview, he still thinks Durant is the best.
So what do the two think about each player’s performances? Let me know in the comments below!