A measure of an athlete is the performance when the game is most on the line. So it shouldn't be surprising that some of the top players in the NBA are the leading scorers in the fourth quarter.
Topping the list is Oklahoma City Thunder forward Kevin Durant, who scores 8.8 points per game in the fourth quarter: He is shooting 49.8% from the field, including 40% on threes, and gets to free throw line 3.1 times per game where he shoots 90.1%.
Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant averages 8.2 points and is second. He takes 5.9 shots per game in the fourth quarter and is shooting 46.5% and 90.8% from the foul line. "You can kind of sense when your team needs a kick-start and you try to do that," Bryant told USA TODAY Sports. "At certain times in games and you need a big basket, they're looking at you to make those big plays and you need to make them." Bryant's Lakers are third in the league in fourth quarter scoring, averaging 25.6 points. Durant's Thunder at fourth, averaging 25.4.
New York Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony, 7.6 points: Shooting 48.3% from the floor, including 40% on threes, while taking 5.1 shots per game in the fourth. Averaging 1.7 rebounds in the fourth. Cleveland guard Kyrie Irving, 6.6 points: Shooting 84.5% from the line and 43.9% from the field – just 27.1% on threes. Los Angeles Clippers guard Jamal Crawford, 6.5 points: Logs serious minutes in the fourth quarter – 10.7 per game and is shooting 92.5% from the foul line. Shooting 43% from the field and 36.8% on threes in the final quarter.