Kevin Durant, how do you rate on the Horry Scale?

by Micah Hart

Before we get into the nitty gritty details, I must make one correction to the Internet this morning. I’ve seen it written in several places that this was the first GWBB of Kevin Durant‘s career, but that is a falsity. I know, because I was there.

Early in KD’s rookie season, before the franchise moved to Oklahoma City, (sorry to bring up painful memories, Seattle fans), the Sonics came to Atlanta to take on the Hawks. In a double-OT game, Durant hit a long turnaround three to give Seattle a 126-123 win. In fact (consults Internet), here it is:

So, now that that’s out of the way, let’s get to the specifics of last night’s heroics.

Once again, the Horry scale examines a shot  in the categories of difficulty, game situation (was the team tied or behind at the time), importance (playoff game or garden-variety Clippers-Nets game), and celebration, and give it an overall grade on a scale of 1-5 Robert Horrys.

Let’s investigate:

Difficulty: I don’t know if it’s fair to judge Durant differently than other humans, but while I’d consider this a difficult shot for most players, I’ve seen him play long enough to know he can hit this shot in his sleep. I may even mean that literally. Taking Durant’s range out of the equation though, fallaway 3-pointers, especially from the deepest spot around the 3-point line, are pretty tough.

Game Situation: The Knicks and Thunder were tied at 98-98, and OKC inbounded the ball on their final possession with 6.5 seconds left. All in all, plenty of time to get a good shot off (almost certainly a better one than they ended up with), and no immediate consequences for a misfire.

Importance: I’ll say medium. The Knicks and Thunder have no rivalry to speak of, and play in separate conferences. However, the Thunder are in a dogfight with the Jazz for the Northwest Division title, and currently sit in a three-way tie for the third-best record in the West (both OKC and Dallas are 28-15, while New Orleans is 29-16, percentage points behind but still 8.5 games behind the Spurs). With a crowded, talented field in the Western Conference, home-court advantage could be a big chip come playoff time.

Celebration: Remember a few paragraphs ago when I said I thought Durant could hit shots like this in his sleep? Well, that’s pretty much his reaction to it as well. If I hit a shot like that, I’d at least do the “beat my chest three times” routine or pop my jersey, but Durant just walks confidently down the court, then grins sheepishly when his teammates get to him. No one seems all that surprised, or even particularly excited. I guess it’s like Joe Paterno said: “Act like you’ve been there before.”


3 Horrys. A shot like this is slightly difficult to grade, as it’s hard for me to separate the shooter from the shot. But given that it was a tie game, and given the team’s somewhat muted reaction, I don’t think I can give it more than three, even though really, it was technically a more difficult make than many of the season’s previous Horry considerations.

What do you think?

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  1. bob dole says:

    great concept.. but poorlym written article

  2. nuggets fan says:

    good shot but they were tied so not much drama if he missed

  3. Jack says:

    What does it take to get 5 Horrys? Throwing someone into the scorer’s table? Or perhaps flopping like…like Horry?

    • Joaquin says:

      Imagine a buzzer beater in double overtime, game 7 of the NBA finals, Celtics vs Lakers. .5 seconds and the lakers are 2 points behind. The Celtics inbound, but the pass gets stolen by Kobe, who follows by making a half-court shot that gives the Lakers the win. That would be 5 Horrys.

    • Tyreke Evans says:

      Tyreke Evans got a 5 .. the Kings were down by 2 .. the kings took it out from the other court because they had no timeouts left . Tyreke gotthe inbounds pass released it from beyond half court and made it. 5 !

  4. s-man says:

    kd’s buzzer beater was alright .. but tyreke evans was crazy !!!

  5. Bruno says:

    Did you see the Celtics stop Manu a few weeks ago? That’s defense. Taking a shot against the Knicks is a child game; so that takes a point off. AI think KD could have gotten a better shot; actually I think he could have taken any shot he wanted, that’s why I’m not impressed or surprised at all. To me it’s 2 Horrys, KD can hit a game-winner against the Knicks every night, no effort !!!

  6. Silver says:

    ask treke evans how to get 5 horrys

  7. Gary says:

    I think this one deserves 4 just because the thunder were behind practically the whole game and they came back to win on a very difficult shot for any NBA player. Kevin Durant was humble in celebrating his shot as is his usual attitude, but you can tell if you watch closely that a lot of hit teammates were much more excited then they showed.

  8. Aurimas says:

    It’s just a matter of time, when will Durant become most clutch player in the NBA 🙂

  9. Kingsfan says:

    i was weak when i seen this KD real, but my man tyreke was way realer so i give it 4 just becuze its KD and he faded away but tyrekes killed this

  10. alessandroempire says:

    it was a tied game, and he took a fadeaway three? hes nuts lol. but then again its KD. what a shot. but lets face it: not the best defense by gallinari. it would have been amazing if it was in any playoff game.

    KD the best clutch shooter? hes good, hes going to be one of the best in the league, if he inst already, and one of the best of this era. But i just got to say it : kobe is GOAT. cant compare in clutch shooting.

    • LOL@kobe says:

      i agree kobe is the greatest of all time at missing clutch shots, (one of THE lowest percentage clutch shooters). and Michael Jordan is the greatest of all time at MAKING clutch shots.

    • Jake says:

      Yeah usually when the game is tied and you have 6.5 seconds you try to drive and draw a foul or get a layup, but hey if your KD then I guess the fade-away three works too:)

  11. T.P. says:

    My man KD does it again ! Man this guy is the greatest player in the NBA right now !

  12. kd35 says:

    why does tyreke evans get a 5… i thought one of the grading scales was importance of the game and i have yet to see a game that has any more meaning then the next for the kings

  13. tata says:

    Regular season, pre All-Star, non-division, non-conference, tie game….at home. This barely deserves Horry comparison. It was a game winner from 3-pt range but in a tie game at home a miss wouldn’t have even hurt. It would’ve been more dramatic if it were a player that isn’t known for shooting threes like Duncan or Gasol. Overall, it is a shot that ANY player would have a 50/50 chance of making. Durant is way better than Horry ever was so why compare?

  14. awesomeman says:

    2 or 3. it would go into OT, so it wasnt all that important. Also, the shot was quite hard I do say, so around a 2 or 3 is good.

  15. kobe says:

    i think it should be the Kobe scale not the Horry Scale.

  16. Ronaldo says:

    I’m more impressed with his demeanor after the shot. A true gentleman/sportsman and possibly eventual champion. The “in-the-bag” smile oozes his business-as-usual attitude towards the game. True, its the Knicks and there’s really no rivalry there (I’d crap my pants watching that if they were down one and it was against the Lakers then the shot goes in with Kobe guarding KD. Is this a rivalry? Note quite like the Bulls-Knicks of old but there’s something there). KD already looks and plays like a champion, now he just needs to get there. Go OKC!!!

  17. longnek says:

    I give his reaction a 5, since that’s how a man should react, ala Hakeem Olajuwon. Cool and collected = classy.

  18. david says:

    That was a pretty difficult shot….4 Horrys…

  19. Vancouverwillgetanotherfranchice(ibelieve!) says:

    Shouldnt the Horry scale be out of 7? and not 5? and i think a good 5 on the horry scale (if it is out of 5) would be the 3 point shot lebron did on the magic back in ’09 in the nba finals. to have ur team down 2-1 in the series and down by 2 with 1.0 seconds left…then go from the inbound and score the 3…now that was clutch.

    i know there a lot of lebron haters out there, and believe me, im the biggest kobe fan in the world… but still even i had to respect that shot.

  20. Cdspark says:

    I agree with the assessment as to the game, shot difficulty is fairly high, but the reaction deserves a 5. Calm, humble and cool. What a great smile.

  21. Mr Banks says:

    This is worth only 3 horrys because its Kevin Durant, Horry was a player who wasn’t a star but stepped up. Rudy Gay over Lebron = 5 Horrys, a Fisher, and a Kobe

  22. LAGOESLOW says:

    If you want to know what it takes to get 5 Horrys just look at Brandon Roy’s game winning 3 pointer at the buzzer from deep beyond the arch against the Houston Rockets with like 0.9 seconds left in the game.

  23. Seattle fan says:

    That clip of Durant with the Sonics certaintly does bring back great memories. I am sitting in my room that’s decked out in Sonic stuff. R.I.P. Seattle Supersonics 1967-2008.
    P.S. Clay Bennett stole our team and Seattle does have good fans!

  24. jovdelmar says:

    score was tied before the shot so a meh for me

  25. king says:

    the KD’s shot was his routine jump shot just like melo’s a few weeks ago but give respect to the guy because he is KD and a scoring CHAMP i give it a 3horrry’s,,, LEBRON IS STILL THE BEST QUITTER EVER TO PLAY IN THE NBA NO RESPECT PERIOD

  26. minako says:

    4 for the shot perfect 5 for humility. great job KD

  27. rmz says:

    Reggie Milller… I’d give the shot a four stars as a Reggie Miller shot and only four because it’s not a playoff, end of season shot. Robert Horry is a short-sighted misnomer. Reggie Miller has been the only Knicks killer / sharp shooter in the last couple decades. I respect Robert Horry’s end of game threes, but they dont carry the history or drama of Miller.

  28. Ida says:

    People always try and find fault in Kobe…okay…so his
    clutch percentage is LOW…It was high last year tho right? HAHA

  29. michael says:


    Gallernali. (bad spelling) is a sharp shooter.

  30. NateMamba says:

    I give this a 2. The game was tied, and as others have already stated, a miss doesn’t hurt. There’s no pressure on a shot like this. Now if they were down, and he sinks the basket, that’s a 5. Tons of pressure there. A miss when you’re down means game over.

  31. […] Micah Hart of grades KD’s game-winner: “Remember a few paragraphs ago when I said I thought Durant could hit shots like this in his sleep? Well, that’s pretty much his reaction to it as well. If I hit a shot like that, I’d at least do the “beat my chest three times” routine or pop my jersey, but Durant just walks confidently down the court, then grins sheepishly when his teammates get to him. No one seems all that surprised, or even particularly excited. I guess it’s like Joe Paterno said: “Act like you’ve been there before.” […]

  32. Jake says:

    Still wondering when the rating for Manu’s game winner against Milwaukee is gonna come out.

  33. KarlJohn says:

    My Idol. I think he deserves more than 5. At 23 of age and its at the top of the scoring list. Definitely deserve more than five. Long live Durant.XP… Thunderant..!!!