Griffin: Durant, James in two-man MVP race

DENVER – Los Angeles Clippers forward Blake Griffin was named the Western Convention Player of the Week for the third time this season on Monday but do not search for him to start campaigning to win the MVP.

Blake Griffin

"I believe the MVP race is a two-man race" between LeBron James and Kevin Durant, Blake Griffin says.

"No, I think the MVP race is a two-man race," Griffin stated. "The stretch of games that we've played and we have been profitable has been an enormous crew effort. Jamal Crawford was taking part in out of his thoughts before he bought hurt and guys have stepped up and really performed their half. With our staff I don't suppose it's one guy that's making us go.

"I genuinely believe it's been a complete workforce effort."

Griffin believes the MVP will finally go to LeBron James or Kevin Durant but he has no less than vaulted himself into the conversation this season, averaging a career-high 24.three points, 9.7 rebounds and 3.7 assists whereas shooting 69.9 percent from the free throw line.

"I believe he is arguably the third-best participant within the NBA," Clippers forward Jared Dudley mentioned. "Clearly you've LeBron and Durant at one and two however you would be arduous-pressed to seek out somebody higher at three. He is one of many high three players in the NBA."

Griffin gained player of the week honors for games performed March 10-16. It marks the third time this season Griffin has captured the award after claiming it twice in November. He additionally gained the Western Conference Player of the Month award in February after being certainly one of solely two players in the league to average a minimum of 30 factors and 10 rebounds throughout the month.

The Clippers are currently driving an NBA-best 11-recreation profitable streak while Griffin has scored at the least 20 points in a franchise-finest 26 straight games.

For his half, Durant ran his streak of games with 25 or more factors to 32 on Monday, the longest in the NBA since Michael Jordan did it in forty in a row through the 1986-87 season. He also chipped in with five assists in the Thunder's ninety seven-85 win over the Chicago Bulls.

After the sport, Bulls middle Joakim Noah solid his vote for Durant.

"He calls for lots of attention," Noah said. "And you got to present credit when credit is due.

"He's the very best participant in the world proper now."

 

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Brooks: Durant could be scoring even more

LOS ANGELES – With the NBA season heading down the stretch and the MVP race seemingly a two-identify toss-up between LeBron James and Kevin Durant, Oklahoma Metropolis Thunder coach Scott Brooks said Durant might put up even greater point totals if he selected.

"Let's face it: If he needed to attain a bunch of points or greater than he's scoring now, he actually could do that," Brooks said earlier than the Thunder played the Los Angeles Lakers on Sunday. "His assist level has gone up, he impacts the game. Defensively, he impacts the sport. He can guard 1 via 5. So a variety of issues that he does (are) all about the team."

Kevin Durant

Kevin Durant entered Sunday leading the league with 31.8 points per sport, but Thunder coach Scott Brooks says that complete could possibly be even greater if the star forward selected.

Durant entered Sunday's game averaging a profession-excessive 31.eight points per game, however his 5.5 assists per sport are additionally a career-best mark for the seven-yr veteran.

On Sunday he had a triple-double through three quarters and finished with 27 factors, 10 rebounds and 12 assists in the Thunder's 114-one hundred ten loss to the Lakers.

While Durant leads the league with 10 video games of 40 or extra points this season, Brooks said the rangy ahead really stood out with his all-round recreation while Russell Westbrook was sidelined with a knee harm for 2 months.

"When he was out, (Durant) undoubtedly needed to proceed to guide us," Brooks stated. "Not solely on the courtroom, but off the court. Simply from the emotional standpoint of losing Russell, he needed to wrap that type of stress around his recreation and proceed to work our approach as a team through that. It is not simple dropping gamers, (particularly) a dynamic player like Russell is. However Kevin got here in and led us.

"He improved his defense and his playmaking, the ball was in his arms and the selections have been extra so in his palms and he did an excellent job with that. With including Russell now, it gives us two dynamic gamers, and that's higher. That's better for us because you possibly can't load up on one. The thing about KD, he knows that he has the flexibility to affect the sport on each ends and he does it every night time. The consistency stage that he has, it's exceptional that he is so constant each night."

Westbrook returned to the lineup after the All-Star break and averaged 21 points on 50 p.c shooting from the sector and 48.4 p.c taking pictures from 3-level range in his first seven games.

"He's definitely all the way in which back," Brooks stated. "It's just the conditioning. I feel that's nearly there. It has been a pair weeks now. A variety of times while you miss a big portion of the season – the 30 games he is missed – the conditioning is obviously not going to be as much as par. However he is back. He is undoubtedly back."

Brooks mentioned he was conscious the Durant vs. James talk will continue the rest of the season, especially on days like Sunday when the Thunder followed James' Miami Warmth on ABC's national broadcast.

"I have a look at every crew, each recreation," Brooks stated. "I comply with box scores, I comply with players. But I don't have a look at it that means. They're two nice players. They both are wonderful teammates and great gamers. They will be in that (MVP) discuss for the following 10 years most likely. I do not take a look at it that approach. I do know it is great protection, it is great storylines, but Kevin is basically focused on helping us win video games."

But when Durant did take residence the award for the first time in his career, denying James his fifth MVP?

"It's something that in the event you get, it's nice, however it's not on Kevin's ideas every day," Brooks mentioned. "There is no question, basketball players, you love the opportunity to get the MVP. The factor I like about Kevin, he's about successful. He's about successful over particular person awards. And he is been constant. He's had MVP years like three years in a row now, and the factor I like about him, he comes again a bit of bit better. That is exhausting to do.

"Two years (in the past), it was exhausting to come back back better than he did last 12 months. Then this yr, he was higher. And he's better additionally with completely different conditions and some injuries that we had to play by way of and he is achieved an amazing job of main us. His numbers converse for themselves.

"If he will get it, great. However now we have greater issues to fret about."

 

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Irving, East get past Durant, Griffin to win All-Star Game

NEW ORLEANS – The Jap Convention lastly stopped Kevin Durant and Blake Griffin – then stopped its shedding streak on the NBA All-Star Game.

Kyrie Irving had 31 points and 14 assists and was voted the game’s MVP, Carmelo Anthony made a file eight three-pointers and scored 30 factors, and the East rallied for a 163-a hundred and fifty five victory over the West on Sunday night within the highest-scoring All-Star Sport ever.

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LeBron: Durant will feel pressure ‘when I retire’

James may not play in Wednesday's game against the Pacers. (USATSI)

LeBron James believes he's going to have the pressure upon him to win for a while. (USATSI)

LeBron James has had a lot to say lately. Starting with their Mount Rushmore comments in order to now saying that Kevin pendant won't experience the same kind of pressure and scrutiny because him until he chooses to retire.

Via Bleacher Report:When does this individual think the pressure will certainly truly shift to pendant to take the Larry O'Brien trophy?

“When I retire, ” wayne replied. “When I stop working. They're still talking about, feel I going to win a third? You know…”It's not completely outlandish, due to the fact as we all know, the press goes where LeBron will go.

 

There's as much talk about exactly where his place will be in the history of the league because there is about what's occurring currently within this season. Because of LeBron's career, and the limelight that's always been on your pet, there probably isn't a gamer who's experienced more overview and pressure the past 10 years as him. But let's not neglect this: LeBron sure will think he's the center of the particular basketball universe. I don't know if it's the real threat that will Kevin Durant has offered recently that has kind of gotten to LeBron or what, yet to suggest that Durant will not experience the pressure to earn a championship until LeBron retires is just incredibly pompous.

 

It doesn't appear all that coincidental that LeBron has piped up plus shown off more in the recent weeks, with the dunk exhibition at practice, the particular Rushmore comments, the things talking about feeling healthy and now this. Either LeBron is concerned about the focus of the little league shifting away from him plus wants to regain the attention of the world, or all this speak could be an effort to install a bit of pressure on himself and his team and kick all of them into gear after kind of coasting for a lot of the season. Read The Original Article

Durant not a big fan of ‘Slim Reaper’ nickname

 

Kevin Durant will be a free agent in 2016. (USATSI)
Kevin Durant doesn’t particularly like his new nickname. (USATSI)

 

If Kevin Durant has something to say about it, our nationwide manhunt for a nickname for him will continue.

The past few weeks, the moniker “Slim Reaper” has caught on, and it suits properly contemplating Durant’s skinny frame and the very fact his crushes souls on the basketball court. There have been cool footage, photoshops, t-shirts and a bunch of different stuff accomplished for it.

However what does Durant assume?

“That identify is what it’s,” Durant said at shootaround Monday. “It’s cool to have a nickname any individual else gave to you. It is type of bizarre in the event you make your own nickname up. However to have that out there, I assume, is cool. “I’m here to shine a bright mild. I’m not right here to be a man of, I suppose, dying. We’ll see what occurs with that, however I just like KD higher.”

The nickname, which originated on Reddit, took off like wildfire as Durant torched opposing groups routinely for 30, forty and sometimes 50 factors nightly.

“Everyone’s been loving the name. I feel I am the only one that basically would not prefer it an excessive amount of.”

Different nicknames for Durant like “Durantula,” “Okay-Smoove,” “Flight 35″ and “Simple 30″ haven’t seemed to really stick for whatever reason. The Slim Reaper moniker has a hoop to it, and a really feel that might have just a little endurance. He won’t prefer it, but that does not actually matter. Until you’re Kobe, you don’t select nicknames; they choose you.

However maybe just do not call him Slim Reaper to his face.

 

Durant keeps rolling as OKC tops Spurs again

 
 
 

SAN ANTONIO – Teams are finding out there's little they can do to stop Kevin pendant.

pendant had 36 points to counteract Tony Parker's season-high thirty seven, and Oklahoma City survived the testy 111-105 victory more than San Antonio on wed night, their third earn this season over the defending traditional western Conference champions.

Durant is hitting 38. 1 points in his last 11 games, assisting the Thunder reclaim the particular Western Conference's record with a five-game winning streak plus an 8-3 mark."Kevin do his thing down the extend, it was pretty remarkable, inch San Antonio Spurs trainer Gregg Popovich said.Durant and Jackson mixed for 22 points upon 9-for-15 shooting in a 35-point fourth quarter for Oklahoma City (33-10).

Jackson had 11 successive points early in the 4th, blowing past Parker with regard to layups to give the Thunder the 94-89 lead with eight minutes left.

"He has had excellent games against the Spurs, inch Oklahoma City coach Scott creeks said. "I can't place my finger on it. We want him to play aggressive golf ball on both ends of the ground. I thought he did a good job of finding spots on the floor that he can finish around the rim. "Jackson averages thirteen. 2 points, but offers scored 23. 7 factors against the Spurs this season.

Durant rebounded up and down excitedly after their second 3-pointer of the one fourth gave Oklahoma City a 108-98 lead with 1 moment remaining.

"Durant hit some difficult shots, he hit a few big 3s down the extend and it just got away from all of us, " Spurs veteran bernard Duncan said. "I don't know how else to explain this. "

Duncan and Boris Diaw obtained 14 points each, Marco Belinelli experienced 13 points and Manu Ginobili

additional 10 points. Duncan added thirteen rebounds, but San Antonio (32-10) struggled to conquer the loss of their top protective stopper, Kawhi Leonard.

Durant finished twelve for 22, but battled to get his shot away against the snug defense of the 6-foot-7 Leonard, who has the 7-4 wingspan. Leonard remaining the game late in the 1st half after sustaining the non-displaced fracture in his correct hand. His status will be unknown, but a similar injuries is expected to sideline Danny Green for a month.

"It's difficult, we're dropping like lures right now, " Duncan stated. "Losing Kawhi was large, especially in a game like this evening. "

Durant scored 24 factors after Leonard left the game with 3 minutes left in the first half.

"I felt earlier in the game the pick-and-roll has been working, " Durant stated. "I was able to go at the bigs a little bit and in the second half I missed a few shots, too. They did a good job of just becoming physical. I think in the 2nd half the defense was a little better. "

With Leonard out, the Spurs rotated and balanced Belinelli, Ginobili and 6-3 former Texas Longhorns teammate Cory Joseph on the 6 to 9 Durant. San Antonio actually attempted a zone in one point to slow pendant to no avail.

"(He guarded Durant) just one time in the zone — he just shot more than me, " Parker stated. "He is on fire right now anyways. He played excellent tonight. You just have to give them credit score. "

The Spurs used a physical defense against Durant along with Leonard out, especially when Ginobili drew the assignment. The tough play angered Durant, that twice lowered his glenohumeral joint and dropped Ginobili. each plays resulted in non-calls, which usually incensed Popovich. The Spurs trainer screamed at officials whilst Durant appeared to yell in Popovich. Popovich was evaluated a technical foul, which usually Durant angrily sank along with 1: 12 to give Oklahoma City a 55-51 lead along with 1: 19 left in the first half. Durant dismissed the particular heated emotion just as rapidly as he did any mental boost the Thunder will get through beating the rival Spurs three times. "I'm sure those men aren't worried that we defeat them three times, " pendant said. "We're just going to keep plugging away. inch San Antonio is 1-9 against the West's remaining top-five groups and the East's best, indianapolis, but they have bigger issues now. After remaining fairly healthy in reaching the NBAfinal season, the Spurs have been plagued by a rash of accidental injuries in the past month. Leonard joins beginning center Tiago Splitter plus former starter Green on the injured list. Parker is also still has a bruised tibia that limits his flexibility and long-range shooting ahead Matt Bonner has to put on a mask after busting his nose Friday against the Portland Trail Blazers.

"(Losing Leonard) is a big loss for us, " Parker said. "We are already down Tiago plus Danny, but everyone goes through injuries and we have to deal with this. Other guys are going to have in order to step up, but we just have to keep playing. "

Parker had twenty points in the second fifty percent, including 12 in the 4th quarter.

"Offensively, Tony was excellent, but he needed a few help for a little while and we just did not get it in order to him, " Duncan stated.

There were four lead changes plus six ties in the 3rd quarter, but Oklahoma City in no way trailed in the fourth.

Game notes

 

Splitter (sprained right shoulder) and eco-friendly (broken left index finger) both missed the game… Oklahoma City is 10-4 in back-to-back games, including a 4-3 report on the second night. They have swept three back-to-backs this season. San Antonio has a 54-22 record at home over Oklahoma City… Bonner, the Spurs' fun-loving forward, is playing along with the ribbing he is getting about the face mask he must wear to protect the particular broken nose he continual Friday against the Portland path Blazers. Duncan, who owns a vehicle customization shop, offered the custom-paint job for the obvious mask and Parker joked that Bonner could `'scare Durant" with it. Jeff McDonald of the San Antonio Express-News jokingly asked if the injuries ends Bonner's hopes of a modeling career once their NBA days are more than. `'I can still be a hands model, " Bonner stated.

 

Kevin Durant Tells Blazers He’s Going to ‘Take this sh!t over,” Then Rallies Thunder to Victory

kevin bleeping durant

Kevin Durant is on such a scoring binge, NBA writers are running out of adjectives to describe just how phenomenal he’s playing. Tuesday evening, with the Thunder trailing Portland at dwelling 93-ninety in the fourth quarter, Durant slammed his hand on the scorer’s desk. He was whistled for a technical foul.

What happened next is something out of Michael Jordan’s e-book: Durant scored in the lane, then made a three-pointer, and started jawing at the Portland bench (4:20 within the video), reportedly saying, “I’m about to take this shit over.” And that’s what he did: OKC closed the game on a 15-4 run – Durant had eleven – to beat the Blazers. The NBA’s main scorer finished with 46 factors on a ruthlessly efficient 17-of-25 from the field, including 6-of-7 from deep. Afterward, Portland’s Mo Williams said, “The way he was enjoying, he in all probability could have scored on Jesus.”

Durant, going at it alone with Russell Westbrook injured, is doing things that seem unfathomable.:

* fifth time he’s scored forty or more this season
* four of the forty+ point performances have come within the last 10 video games
* Final 14 games: 36.5 ppg
* Final three video games: 66 % on 3-point shooting, 72 p.c midrange shooting

Durant, Westbrook too much as Thunder thump Knicks

NY – Not only was there no Kevin Durant-Carmelo Anthony showdown, there wasn’t a lot of a recreation, both.

The Oklahoma City Thunder made certain of it with the most dominant performance ever by a highway crew on Christmas.

Durant scored 29 factors, Russell Westbrook had a triple-double by the middle of the third quarter, and the Thunder rolled to a 123-ninety four victory Wednesday over the New York Knicks.

The 29-level victory was the most important for a road team on Christmas.

“I just know that if we play the way in which we play, staff basketball, Thunder basketball, not too many teams that can beat us,” Westbrook said.

The Knicks, without Anthony, weren’t one in all them.

The matchup between the NBA’s high two scorers was canceled due to Anthony’s sprained left ankle, so the Thunder had the Christmas highlight all to themselves while successful for the 10th time in eleven games.

Westbrook finished with 14 factors, 13 rebounds and 10 assists in his first triple-double of the season and seventh of his profession. Serge Ibaka added 24 factors on 10-of-14 taking pictures because the Thunder left a sellout crowd of 19,812 booing the house crew, or making no noise at all.

“I said that on the bench, I used to be like, `Man, it appears like no one’s in right here,'” Durant mentioned.

Amare Stoudemire scored a season-excessive 22 points, and Tim Hardaway Jr. had 21 for the Knicks, who additionally have been lacking place to begin guard Raymond Felton. J.R. Smith scored 20 points, however shot 8 for 22 and was booed when he left the court docket for good.

Anthony sat out for the primary time this season. The Knicks have been by no means actually in it with out him and may not have had an opportunity with him the way in which the Thunder performed.

“Defensively, we simply weren’t there tonight,” Knicks coach Mike Woodson mentioned.

The Knicks not solely had hassle with the Thunder, but additionally with the special edition sleeved jerseys NBA groups are carrying on Christmas.

Beno Udrih hit the facet of the backboard on two shot makes an attempt within the first half, tugging on his sleeve after the second as if blaming his struggles on his gear.

Oklahoma Metropolis had a a lot simpler time in the uniforms. Coach Scott Brooks said before the sport the Thunder hadn’t had a formal observe in them, but gamers had shot around the previous couple of days within the jerseys that featured a giant logo in the middle of the chest and jersey numbers on the left sleeve.

“They appear nice. Hopefully, we play properly in them,” Brooks stated.

They performed fantastically.

Coming off a 104-ninety eight loss to Toronto on Sunday that ended a 9-game profitable streak and was their first setback at house this season, they shot fifty four percent and got 18 factors from Reggie Jackson.

Durant made all 5 shots in the first quarter, with the Thunder leading 35-29 after capturing 70 p.c. Jackson and Durant made three-pointers to begin the second, making Oklahoma Metropolis sixteen of 22. Ibaka did a lot of the work in an eight-2 spurt midway by way of the period that prolonged the result in 17, and the Thunder led 60-46 at halftime.

Durant and Westbrook took turns being unguardable on the perimeter in the third, boos rising louder as Oklahoma City went on to its sixth straight highway victory.

“I mean, I’m disillusioned with them. Honestly, my disappointment most likely outweighs theirs,” Knicks heart Tyson Chandler said about the fans. “It is what it’s. They come out here to see a show and so they come here to see their group play laborious and I perceive it.”

Anthony was harm Monday evening in a victory at Orlando, saying afterward he hoped to play Wednesday. However he looked glum and wasn’t strolling significantly nicely by the locker room space after getting treatment and testing the ankle, and the Knicks introduced he wouldn’t be in uniform about 50 minutes before the start.

He sat on the bench carrying a brown sports activities jacket, getting up slowly throughout timeouts every time the Knicks known as them in a futile try to stop the Thunder’s onslaught.

The Knicks fell to 0-7 in orange uniforms this season.

Notes

Chris Smith, J.R.’s brother, made his NBA debut with a scoreless minute on the end… Kenyon Martin returned to the Knicks after lacking 5 games with a strained left stomach muscle… Woodson stated he thought Felton (strained proper groin) would see more doctors Thursday, perhaps getting a greater idea how long he can be out. The Knicks have been additionally with out Metta World Peace, who has been battling a sore left knee.

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Durant, Thunder end Spurs win streak at 11

Durant Leads Thunder Previous Spurs

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    Durant Leads Thunder Previous Spurs

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    Mavericks Hold Off Warriors

OKLAHOMA METROPOLIS – The pictures weren't falling early for Kevin Durant and never fell for Russell Westbrook, so it was Reggie Jackson and Jeremy Lamb who carried the Oklahoma Metropolis Thunder to their most impressive win of the season.

Durant completed with 24 factors and thirteen rebounds, Jackson matched his profession excessive with 23 factors on 10-of-14 capturing and Lamb scored 12 factors on 5-of-7 capturing, lifting the Thunder to a ninety four-88 win over San Antonio and snapping the Spurs' eleven-sport profitable streak.

Jackson scored eight straight points for the Thunder throughout a surge early in the fourth quarter that put Oklahoma City ahead by 11 points. The Spurs rallied inside three points earlier than Jackson and Durant mixed to score the Thunder's final thirteen factors and put the game away.

"We couldn't guard (Jackson) tonight," San Antonio coach Gregg Popovich mentioned. "He really helped them. He was basically the difference in the game. He did an important job."

Serge Ibaka added 17 points and eleven rebounds for Oklahoma Metropolis, which is 7-0 at dwelling, the franchise's best dwelling begin since 2004-05, when it was in Seattle. The Thunder have won five straight, their longest streak of the season.

The Thunder took management of a good recreation with an 8-0 run in the third quarter and withstood a run by San Antonio halfway through the fourth.

"I just attacked gaps and pictures went down for all of us," Jackson stated. "We just saved making an attempt to get within the lane and make the passes for the subsequent man and just hold attacking the bigs off decide-and-rolls… I believe we as a staff, we did it fairly efficiently tonight, but it began defensively."

Tony Parker had sixteen factors and seven assists for San Antonio (13-2), which was looking for the most effective begin in franchise historical past. The Spurs also began thirteen-1 throughout the 2010-eleven season. Portland, which entered Wednesday on an eleven-sport winning streak, is the only different workforce to have beaten San Antonio this season.

During their earlier eight games, the Spurs had overwhelmed opponents by an average of 19.1 points, with all these wins by nine or extra factors. But fellow Western Convention power Oklahoma City (10-3) represented a step up in competition, and the Spurs misplaced for the third straight time at Chesapeake Vitality Area.

San Antonio shot 39.1 p.c from the sector and went 7 of 27 (25.9 p.c) from three-level range. The latter number notably irked Popovich, who said his workforce didn't assault the basket as much as he'd like.

"I thought a reasonably good percentage of ours tonight have been hurried or frenetic at times," Popovich stated. "I did not like our choice."

Oklahoma City coach Scott Brooks agreed with Popovich that almost all of the Spurs' three-level attempts benefited the Thunder.

"I assumed our protection was excellent," Brooks mentioned. "I feel in the final three or four video games we've put a string of defensive efforts and defensive performances together we are able to continue to construct on.

"Going into this game they'd won 11 in a row and were the most popular workforce in basketball and with the way they rating they're a hard staff to guard. I assumed our guys did a good job with our size making them miss pictures and I assumed defense was the key tonight."

Durant and Westbrook combined to shoot 6 of 24 in the first half – 1 of 9 from 3-point range – and the Spurs led 46-43 at halftime. Meanwhile, Kawhi Leonard went 6 of 12 from the sphere and had thirteen first-half points for San Antonio.

With common stalwarts Durant and Westbrook struggling, Ibaka picked up the slack early within the third quarter, scoring 10 straight points for Oklahoma Metropolis popping out of halftime. That seemed to get up the Thunder they usually went on an 8-zero run to take their largest result in that point at 59-fifty two on a dunk by Durant at the 5:08 mark.

Lamb hit a 3-pointer and a 2-pointer within the ultimate 1:35 of the third quarter to increase the result in sixty eight-fifty nine and Jackson's driving layup gave the Thunder a seventy eight-sixty seven lead with eight:forty seven left. It was the primary double-digit benefit for both group.

That was Oklahoma Metropolis's final field goal for more than four½ minutes, allowing the Spurs to achieve ground. Marco Belinelli's basket with 6:forty six left pulled San Antonio inside seventy nine-76 but then the Spurs went cold as properly, missing their subsequent 4 pictures.

Ibaka's putback with 4:12 left ended the Thunder's drought and Jackson followed with an 11-foot jumper to make it 83-seventy seven. Durant, who finished 10 of 23 from the sector, then grabbed the rebound after a miss by Leonard and drove the length of the court for a basket while being fouled. He made the free throw to put Oklahoma City forward 86-77 with 2:56 left.

Jackson "was aggressive all evening attending to the rim," Durant said. "That's what he does. No person can keep in entrance of him… He gave us a pleasant spark and people guys, him and Jeremy, Fish (Derek Fisher), these guys are actually the reason we received the basketball sport."

Game notes

Earlier than the sport, Popovich and Oklahoma City general supervisor Sam Presti chatted briefly outdoors the Spurs' locker room. Presti was an assistant GM with the Spurs earlier than taking the identical job with the Thunder franchise in 2007… Referee Monty McCutchen called Oklahoma City's Fisher for three fouls on one San Antonio second-quarter possession. After an unlawful display name on the Spurs to end the possession, Fisher told McCutchen, "That is horrible." McCutchen responded, "Don't discuss to me."

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Durant: I’m no longer obsessed with winning

Kevin Durant admitted he was obsessed with main the Oklahoma Metropolis Thunder to a championship final season – too obsessed.

Durant

Durant

So even though he had another magnificent season – scoring 28.1 points per game, and capturing 51 p.c from the sphere and forty one.6 % from 3-point vary – his infatuation with profitable a title affected him personally, and he even took it out on others.

“Final yr, I was obsessed with it,” Durant advised The Oklahoman of successful a title. “Like, I wasn’t going to sleep as a result of I wanted to win so bad. I used to be screaming at my teammates, at the refs, on the coaches. I got mad as a result of I assumed ‘if we’ve a bad sport here, we’re not going to win a championship.'”

These cracks showed up in his demeanor on the court as well, as he was known as for 12 technical fouls final season – far surpassing his complete from the previous 5 seasons combined.

All the while, Durant was feeling that he wanted to play perfectly each night time and held his crew to that very same normal.

“Like, for me, when I was coming in I was like ‘If I miss a shot, I will miss this shot in Recreation 6 of the Finals,'” he said within the report. “‘If we don’t play defense this sport, we’re not going to play protection within the Finals.’ Like, I was thinking like that. And I used to be going residence and I might get so mad over small stuff. That is not me. So I used to be dropping myself over what folks thought, what different people thought.”

That title chase in the end fell brief when the Thunder, minus injured Russell Westbrook, were eradicated within the second spherical of the playoffs by the Memphis Grizzlies.

A year wiser, Durant is taking a unique approach as the new season nears.

“So I’m not going to let that overtake my mind,” Durant instructed The Oklahoman of his championship chase. “I mean, in fact I need to win it, but I’m not obsessive about it. I’ll put within the work to help my group, however I’m not going to be obsessed with it as a result of that is when I compromise myself, and most of the time it would not work out.”

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Durant: Time for Dwyane Wade to ‘pass the torch’

Kevin Durant and Dwyane Wade continue to feud. (USATSI)
Kevin Durant and Dwyane Wade proceed to feud. (USATSI)

In an interview with EuroHoops.net, Thunder forward Kevin Durant reasserted his feelings about how James Harden has passed Dwyane Wade in being a top 10 player, and went on to say that Wade should settle for it, and “cross the torch.”

“But I stand by what I say. Lots of people disagree with me, however it’s what it’s. It’s nothing against D-Wade, he is a great player, he set his mark within the league, he is among the best capturing guards ever, however like I mentioned, I simply thought, that as an older man, it is time to cross the torch to the youthful guys. Identical to any individual did to him, identical to anyone did to me and I must do the identical in a while. So I simply thought it was his time”.

by way of “It’s time for Wade to move the torch” | Eurohoops.

The whole thing started when Durant informed CineSport that James Harden was a high ten participant and may have been in Sports activities Ilustrated’s High 10 gamers checklist and never Dwyane Wade. Wade took exception on Instagram, and Durant caught by his place as soon as camp opened.

This can be a pretty previous chestnut in the NBA. Getting old player refuses to accept that he may have misplaced a step, younger participant thinks he should present opportunities for the younger players. From Magic and MJ on down, it has been advised over and over. The query is whether Wade legitimately has fallen off or not. In our EOB Elite a hundred, Harden got here in one spot behind Wade, at No. eight vs. No. 7.

Wade seemed to battle last year, however then would undergo a surge. He appeared absolutely accomplished in the series towards the Pacers, then responded with a 21 factors, 9 rebounds performance in Sport 7 to shut out Indiana. Then once more, he struggled within the Finals, before responding with 32 points in Recreation four, and 23 factors and 10 boards in Recreation 7 to win his third title.

So he is got slightly little bit of some extent in saying he’s not done.

But Harden is on the rise, and arguably was extra consistent and extra environment friendly final year. Wade’s injuries and age have compromised his defense sufficient to shut that hole (Harden struggles in that space). It is actually a very good debate.

And regardless of who’s better, it should be a enjoyable state of affairs to observe when the Thunder and Warmth play each other this season.

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