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123 Mar 4
RIO DE JANEIRO -- The words, scrawled in marker on the tops of his sneakers, remind Kevin Durant why he started playing basketball in the first place. Duron Harmon Jersey .Even in the Olympics, its just a game.On his left sneaker, Durant scribbled, Have Fun. On the right one, Smile.I forgot to write it last night, Durant said grinning on Thursday.Thats about the only thing he didnt do. Durant scored 27 points with seven rebounds and six assists in a quarterfinal blowout of Argentina. He also executed a two-crossover, Euro-step, one-legged fadeaway in the lane, a sequence of intricate basketball moves that might make an Olympic gymnast envious.With the U.S. team needing a lift, something to shake it from this South American slumber and re-direct the angst aimed at the 2016 collection of NBA All-Stars after three lackluster victories, Durant delivered.This is the stage he thrives on, said U.S. point guard Kyrie Irving. You can count on KD being KD in the biggest moments, which we have all come to respect and kind of rely on.Durants performance against Argentina pushed the U.S. a step closer to its third straight gold medal and set up a semifinal showdown on Friday with Spain, the two-time defending silver medalist hoping a third time is championship charmed against the Americans.After deferring to his teammates and taking just 10 shots in the previous two games, Durant was in attack mode from the outset against the Argentines, who jumped out to a 19-9 lead before the U.S. erupted on a 27-2 run and into Rios semis with a 105-78 win.This was the Durant everyone had been waiting for, the one who shot the U.S. to a 2010 world championship in Turkey, scored 30 in the gold-medal game in 2012 and has reached double digits in all 14 Olympic games hes played.Durant had not been himself earlier in the tournament, and maybe its not a coincidence that the U.S. team had not played up to expectations -- as unrealistic as that sometimes seem -- while squirming through pool play undefeated.But when the stakes got higher, Durant again raised his game and perhaps motivated his teammates. Hes averaging 18.5 points and shooting 66 percent (18 of 27) on 3-pointers.I dont think I inspired them just because I scored points, he said following practice at the Flamengo Club, a short drive from scenic Leblon Beach. I just think my energy, my aggressiveness and just being excited to play, I think that rubbed off on everybody and I just try to display that every time I play.I got away from that the last couple of games, but I just always try to stay conscious of just smiling out there, having fun. My smile is contagious and my energy and enthusiasm for the game is contagious and I try to spread that to my teammates.That smile disappeared for a short time earlier this summer.Durants decision to leave Oklahoma City as a free agent and sign with Golden State, forming a super team with Stephen Curry and U.S teammates Draymond Green and Klay Thompson, brought criticism and questions about him for the first time in his career.Durant was branded a quitter, unable to win a championship without help. He was called soft, overrated, insecure and worse. The noise was deafening, and Durant found the only way to drown it was to ignore it.It took me some time to get used to everything on the outside of a game, whether it was media or fans and their points of view, he said. What I had to learn over the last few years was just to relax, dont care if I missed a shot or if I turned the ball over or if I dont box out and someone scores on me. I cant worry about that stuff and that just keeps me calm in those moments.When the U.S. team convened for training camp in Las Vegas, center DeAndre Jordan offered Durant some advice.I told him, `You gotta worry about you, said Jordan, who had his own free agency fiasco in 2015. You cant worry about what other people say. They dont have to play in that city or play for that team. Its ultimately whats best for Kevin. And once I told him that, he kind of relaxed a little bit. Im happy for him.Durant seems at ease, finally at peace with his decision. Hes enjoyed his time with Thompson and Green, and believes their Olympic chemistry will carry over once theyre with Curry.For now, though, Durant is focused solely on this team, which is taking its cues from a player who once he steps onto the floor morphs from laid-back to into an offensive juggernaut.When hes attacking, it sends a lightning bolt through the team, Jordan said.The Americans were looking for direction, and Durant is showing them the way.Smiling every step. Antonio Garcia Jersey . 9. Price, heading to the 2014 Olympics for Canada, was named the First Star after posting wins in three starts with a 1.00 goals-against average and a .971 save percentage. Cheap Patriots Jersey . Duchene scored two goals and had an assist, helping the Colorado Avalanche beat the Carolina Hurricanes 4-2 on Friday night to match the best 10-game start in team history. http:///...david-andrews-jersey . Francis told several hundred members of the European Olympic Committees that when sport "is considered only in economic terms and consequently for victory at every cost . ALAMEDA, Calif. -- The Oakland Raiders have placed defensive end Mario Edwards Jr. on the injured reserve list with a hip injury.The team also signed defensive end Jason Fanaika and linebacker Curtis Grant to the practice squad Monday.Edwards was hurt in the first preseason game at Arizona last month. The Raiders could bring Edwards back as the one player who can come off injured reserve if he gets healthy. He will be eligible to practice in sixx weeks and play in a game two weeks after that. LaAdrian Waddle Jersey. Edwards made 10 starts as a rookie in 2015 and was emerging as a key player on Oaklands improving defense late last season before being shut down by a season-ending neck injury in December.---Online:AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org and www.twitter.com/AP-NFL Cheap NFL Jerseys Cheap NFL Jerseys China Cheap Jerseys From China Cheap NFL Jerseys Authentic Wholesale Jerseys China Cheap NFL Jerseys China NFL Cheap Jerseys ' ' '
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