Originally Published: Oct 21, 2009 9:30 AM CDT
AUSTIN, Texas -- Kevin Durant was having so much fun at his homecoming that even a loss to the San Antonio Spurs couldn't spoil it.
The Oklahoma City Thunder forward toured the University of Texas campus where he spent one season in college, visited his old teammates and coaches and got to watch them practice.
Then he went out and scored 23 points and grabbed nine rebounds in 35 minutes on his old court, only to watch the Spurs hit 14 3-pointers as San Antonio rolled to a 119-102 preseason victory Tuesday night.
"It's always good to see the people I love and call family," Durant said. "I'm grateful we got to play here again."
Before the game, Longhorns fans who came to see him called out his name for pictures and he was presented on the court with a "Kevin Durant Day" proclamation from the city.
When he was a Longhorn, Durant scored 20 or more points 30 times and scored at least 30 in 11 games in his one season and swept national player of the year honors as a freshman. Texas retired his No. 35 -- the same number he wears as a pro -- last season.
"It felt good walking into the building and seeing my jersey up there in the rafters," Durant said.
Durant made six of his first nine shots in front of a crowd that came out to see him but also to cheer for the Spurs (3-2). Although the game was a "home" contest for the Thunder, Austin is only about 75 miles north of San Antonio.
At one point in the second quarter, a group of Longhorns fans in the upper deck chanted "One more year!"
"My last game here, they chanted that too," Durant said.
That was the fun part. The Spurs were all business in trying to prepare for the regular season and had the game under control by halftime.
Michael Finley made five 3-pointers to lead the Spurs with 20 points in 17 minutes. Matt Bonner was 3-of-3 from beyond the arc, while George Hill was 3-of-6.
"Every time we play them, we learn stuff from them. Tonight they did a great job of moving the basketball and getting everybody involved. That 3-point line can do it to you," Durant said.
Tony Parker finished with 13 points in 23 minutes for the Spurs, Richard Jefferson added 13 and Tim Duncan had nine points and 10 rebounds.
Jeff Green scored 24 points to lead the Thunder (2-4) and James Harden scored 17.
Bonner made his 3-pointers in the first quarter and Finley had four in the first half as the Spurs took a 65-56 lead. Parker and Duncan scored all the Spurs' points in an 11-2 run in the second quarter.
Finley made another 3-pointer in the third and the Spurs stretched the lead to 80-64 behind six straight points from Parker. Manu Ginobili and Hill made 3-pointers in the final 2 minutes of the quarter to put the Spurs up 96-74.
The Spurs shot 57 percent from the field and outrebounded the Thunder 46-35.
"They're as deep as any team in the league. They make it all work," Thunder coach Scott Brooks said.
San Antonio shut down Durant in the second half. He had justtwo points in the third quarter and finished the night 11-of-22 shooting with several bad misfires late.
"Kevin Durant is a lot like Kobe (Bryant). He can get his shot over anybody," Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said. "The defense got better as the game went on.
We were changing defenses a lot during the game to give our new guys a look at what's going on."
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