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Wed, 29 Feb 2012 10:12 AM EST

Thunder’ forward Kevin Durant cringes a tiny whenever he hears his name next to words like elite or star. Baseball spreads

However after winning his 1st All-Star MVP award with a scoring display that ranked among the best in the game’s history, even Durant may have to recognize his very own NBA stardom. Baseball odds

The Oklahoma City Thunder forward scored 36 points and grabbed 7 rebounds Sunday night to help the West hold off a late charge from the East in a 152-149 success.

“It’s just exciting to be named (an) All-Star, but to step it up another level and become MVP, it’s only a specific thing as a kid you ambition about,” Durant related. “Coming from where I come from, I didn’t think I would be here. Everything is simply a blessing to me.”

His presentation was a small piece of All-Star redemption for Durant after he came up just short towards Minnesota’s Kevin Love in Saturday night’s 3-point Shootout.

Durant dazzled with a scoring barrage that included jump shots, slashing layups and dunks to help the West open a 21-point lead. He even eclipsed West teammate Kobe Bryant, who scored 27 points and passed Michael Jordan to become the top career scorer in All-Star Game history.

Durant recounted there wasn’t any special methodology to how he approached the game, but stated that he and West coach Scott Brooks did have a discussion back in Oklahoma City in which Durant let him know he didn’t mind logging a large number of All-Star minutes.

Durant finished the night playing a game-high 37.

“I’m often like that,” Durant said. “You know, every game I play in I try to be aggressive and be myself. It made it easier having my coaches over there, also. Folks just sacrificed shots, and that is what you want to see from superstars.”

Miami’s Dwyane Wade asserted Durant will be a player to watch in future games.

“That record (Kobe) got, with KD in the league, I don’t know how long it’s going to last,” Wade said.

Brooks declared he’s never amazed by the 5th-year player any longer.

“This is his 1st time of probably many,” Brooks said of the MVP reward. “I’m thrilled to have the chance to coach him. The bloke, he does plenty of things well… He just comes in and does his work.”

Durant claimed Sunday’s honor ranks high on his list of career achievements, including the gold medal he won at the world championships in 2010.

“It ranks right up there at the top,” Durant announced. “I keep announcing it, but I am excited I got it, and I am glad I’m able to celebrate this with my family and my teammates and everyone in Oklahoma City. We’ll see if I get another one down the line.”

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