Kevin Durant Shows Toughness in 40-Point Performance vs. Miami Heat

Jonathan IrwinContributor IIFebruary 14, 2013

Feb 14, 2013; Oklahoma City, OK, USA; Oklahoma City Thunder forward Kevin Durant (35) attempts a shot against Miami Heat forward Chris Anderson (11) during the second half at the Chesapeake Energy Arena.  Mandatory Credit: Mark D. Smith-USA TODAY Sports

The breath was ripped from Thunder Nation's lungs in the first quarter of tonight's matchup with the Heat, after star forward Kevin Durant hit the hardwood after a hard foul.

But with the toughness you'd expect from one of the NBA's most prolific players, Durant stayed on the court to put the final touches on a career night.

The foul came when Durant went up for a rebound and was caught off-balance from his left side.

Unable to get his feet under him, Durant hit the floor with a sickening thud. It looked like all in one he nailed his shoulder, side and hip with the hard fall.

The All-Star stayed on the floor for sometime, writhing in pain. After a couple minutes, he was able to get up, but needed a bit more time to finish catching his breath.

In the end, Durant got up and didn't miss any seconds from the game. It was still a frightening moment for the Thunder.

Ever the tough player, Durant rose to the occasion and pushed himself to the limit in one of the Thunder's biggest games of the season.

The 24-year-old finished his night with a career game. He scored 40 points on 12-24 shooting, while going 15-15 from the free-point line.

Defensively, Durant played a tough game. He notched eight rebounds, three blocks and one steal.

Durant has played incredibly tough this season, and found himself with his 11th technical of the season tonight. So it's no surprise that he pushed himself so hard to finish tonight with the stats he did.

Durant continues to do it all, and is hands down the most proficient scorer in the NBA this season. He's averaging close to 30 points a game, while shooting 51.9 percent from the floor.

While in the end the Thunder lost this one 110-100, it wasn't for a lack of trying—outscoring Miami 31-22 in the fourth quarter.

Most of all, Durant sent a message to the league that he just can't be slowed down, and unless you play for the Thunder that's a pretty scary thought.