‘The Servant.’’ ‘‘Slim Reaper.’’ Oklahoma City Thunder standout Kevin Durant can go by any nickname he wants, as long as he bows to ‘‘The King’’ once he gets it figured out.
What the Miami Heat’s victory Thursday against the Thunder showed is that LeBron James is the best all-around player to step on a court. Better all-around than Kobe Bryant, better all-around than Michael Jordan and certainly better all-around than Durant.
And now that James is starting to embrace the attitude of knowing he’s the best and is willing to defend that legacy on the court when it’s challenged, it’s game over. Much like Jordan used to look to destroy any player who was deemed the next to wear his crown, James gave the same treatment to Durant in the Heat’s 103-81 victory. He scored the Heat’s first 12 points and tallied 33 before suffering a broken nose in the fourth quarter.
† Trade-deadline winners: Washington Wizards (landing Andre Miller), Indiana Pacers (getting Evan Turner and Lavoy Allen) and Philadelphia 76ers (taking a huge stride in tanking).
† All the trade of Spencer Hawes to the Cleveland Cavaliers did was give Kyrie Irving another teammate to freeze out.
† The 76ers have six additional second-round picks from 2014 through 2020. Insert joke here.
† What was the biggest surprise about Kobe Bryant complaining on Twitter about the Los Angeles Lakers trading guard and good friend Steve Blake to the Golden State Warriors? Who knew Bryant had friends?
Player of the week
LeBron James, Heat forward: After scoring 42 points out of the All-Star break against the Dallas Mavericks, ‘‘King’’ James had a huge game against the Thunder, dominating Kevin Durant on his way to scoring 33 points.
Team of the week
Heat: So much for the big West Coast trip testing the two-time defending champions. All the Heat did was go 5-1, with victories against the Los Angeles Clippers, Phoenix Suns, Warriors, Mavericks and Thunder.
The big five
1. Heat, 2. Thunder, 3. Pacers, 4. San Antonio Spurs, 5. Houston Rockets.
Awful for Andrew
The three teams bad enough to start tanking in hopes of drafting Andrew Wiggins: 1. Milwaukee Bucks, 2. 76ers, 3. Orlando Magic.
81 Points scored by LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh in the Heat’s victory against the Thunder.
Two to watch
Bulls at Heat, 2:30 p.m. Sunday: The Bulls have been playing as well as they have all season, but how will they fare against the Heat in South Beach?
Rockets at Clippers, 9:30 p.m. Wednesday: Two teams with high aspirations in the West.