Watch Kevin Durant Reach New Heights with Epic Dunk vs. Suns

Zach Buckley@@ZachBuckleyNBANational NBA Featured ColumnistFebruary 8, 2013

The recipe for Oklahoma City Thunder megastar Kevin Durant's latest entry into the Dunk of the Year nominations was quite simple.

Three hard dribbles, a two-handed gather and a powerful right-handed flush.

Midway through the second quarter of the Thunder's Friday-night game with the Phoenix Suns, Durant trotted across half court and quickly surveyed the defense.

Here's what he saw in front of him: a defenseless Michael Beasley, a 7'3", 263-pound screener in teammate Hasheem Thabeet and an overzealous Jermaine O'Neal hedging a potential screen to Durant's left.

After that, it was daylight.

Thabeet slipped around Beasley to plant the screen on Durant's right side. The faintest hesitation froze Beasley and three explosive dribbles got Durant from the midpoint of the Chesapeake Energy Arena logo near midcourt to a step inside the lane.

Markieff Morris knew what was coming next. His leap at least denied Durant a free path to the basket, but "Durantula" simply rose quicker and higher than Morris could.

Darnell Maybury of The Oklahoman knew where this finish was headed:

Markieff Morris just got posterized by Kevin Durant. You'll see it on SportsCenter tonight!

— Darnell Mayberry (@DarnellMayberry) February 9, 2013


And Durant was determined to make sure that highlight reel wasn't tainted by a bad loss. With Russell Westbrook plagued with foul trouble, the Thunder carried just a five-point edge into halftime (55-50).

By the end of the third quarter, that Suns deficit had ballooned to 21 points.

Foot Locker and Nike clearly know what they're talking about. There was nothing nice about this nasty flush.