Kevin Durant passes Allen Iverson on NBA career scoring list: ‘It’s all surreal’

BOSTON — Nets star Kevin Durant stated it “means the world” to him to go Corridor of Famer Allen Iverson for twenty fifth on the NBA’s all-time scoring listing throughout Brooklyn’s 123-104 victory over the Celtics right here at TD Backyard on Wednesday evening.

“I imply, it means the world. I devoted my life to this recreation at an early age … so I watched all these guys that I am like passing up,” Durant stated after scoring 21 factors for the Nets, who improved to an Jap Convention-leading 14-5.

“I wished to be like them. I wished to be within the NBA like them, and make an affect within the league like them. So Iverson, he was the pantheon for me. A type of guys that I emulated each time I went exterior and performed with my associates. It is all surreal. I pictured I’d be within the league, and had an thought … however to do it’s fairly particular.”

For Durant, the that means of passing Iverson is two-fold. Not solely was he a child when Iverson first exploded onto the NBA scene within the 1996-97 season, however rising up within the Washington, D.C., space, he bought a front-row seat to Iverson’s faculty exploits at Georgetown.

Durant stated that rising up, even when enjoying middle on his childhood groups, he was nonetheless attempting to emulate Iverson’s signature crossover.

“I actually grew to become an enormous Iverson fan, clearly, identical to everyone else his rookie 12 months. However seeing him at Georgetown and enjoying for coach [John] Thompson and that complete tradition that they constructed there, he was an enormous a part of that,” Durant stated. “However as soon as he got here to the league, he had gamers … I used to be a middle, energy ahead on my younger crew, and all of us had been lengthy crossing and double crossing. He influenced lots of people.

“So to go him on the listing and to be up there with a number of the greats on that listing is unbelievable. I’ve simply bought to maintain going.”

Durant, who handed Iverson along with his first basket of the sport Wednesday evening and has a shot to maneuver inside the highest 20 scorers of all time this season, and the Nets stored their not too long ago sturdy run of play going with their efficiency in opposition to the Celtics (10-9), who had entered the sport with wins in eight of their earlier 11 video games earlier than trailing by as many as 29 factors in opposition to Brooklyn.

Including an additional layer of satisfaction to the win for Durant was going up in opposition to Ime Udoka, the coach of the Celtics who served as an assistant coach on each the Nets final season and with Crew USA below Gregg Popovich this summer season. Durant admitted there was some “pleasant” trash speak between the 2 through the recreation, and that getting a win right here in Boston was made all of the sweeter as a result of Udoka was on the other sideline.

“Me and Ime bought tight over final 12 months and over the Olympics,” Durant stated. “So simply pleasant trash speak. I imply, he talks a lot s— to me. Yeah, so it helps I suppose that there is competitors between us two groups. We’re all going to be round right here late within the season.

“It was good to beat Ime. I get enthusiastic about coming right here and profitable in Boston. It is a powerful place to play. However now that Ime is a coach, it makes it even sweeter.”

The Nets, who surprisingly sit sixth within the NBA in defensive score, held Boston to 37.4 p.c capturing total and 11-for-48 from 3-point vary, together with Boston’s star wing tandem of Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown ending 9-for-31 from the sphere and 1-for-17 from 3-point vary.

“Not discouraging in any respect,” stated Brown, who was a game-time resolution as he continues to recuperate from the hamstring pressure that price him eight video games earlier than he returned Monday in a win over the Houston Rockets. “Now we have been enjoying good basketball, and we have to proceed to play good basketball.

“We will not let this loss dictate the remainder of the following 4, 5, six, seven video games. Now we have to bounce again. That is what good groups do.”

Brooklyn’s defensive efficiency, coupled with the Nets capturing over 50 p.c from the sphere and hitting 14 of their 35 3s, prompted James Harden to name Wednesday Brooklyn’s most full recreation of the season.

“Positively,” stated Harden, who completed with 20 factors, seven rebounds, 11 assists and two steals. “I imply, to date. It is solely been 20 video games or one thing. However to date, yeah, and we are able to proceed to construct on this.”

Now, Brooklyn returns dwelling with a matchup in opposition to the Phoenix Suns — considered one of two groups, together with the league-leading Golden State Warriors, with a greater report than the Nets to date this season. However whereas the sport in Brooklyn final week between the Warriors and Nets resulted in a lopsided win for Golden State, Durant harassed that Saturday’s recreation — win or lose — does not tackle any outsized significance by way of displaying the Nets the place they stand.

“We gauge who we’re daily,” Durant stated. “We perceive that these groups are coming in, and groups are enjoying nicely. However it’s November. I imply, each crew needs to be that spherical into form in the midst of the season, because the playoffs are beginning to come round.

“I am not saying that we need to give away any video games, however, win or lose, I do not actually suppose that is going to inform us that a lot about the place we’re headed as a crew, what I am saying? However we clearly need to come on the market and follow our rules and maintain getting higher at that stuff. From the skin wanting in, I perceive the data and the narratives round video games and stuff. However I do not suppose this may inform us an excessive amount of about what might occur down the road.”

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