KD on the MVP: ”To be honest I get kind of tired of people talking to me about it,” Durant said before the game. “Those awards really don’t mean anything to me. My first year coming in, winning Rookie of the Year, being in that race was cool. That was something that I wanted to accomplish. But it’s all about winning for me right now. Trying to get to the playoffs, trying to get to a championship (level), that’s what it’s about. That stuff is over for me, going out playing for awards. I don’t even think about it to be honest. But it’s cool to be in the race.”
Regardless of that, ESPN’s Award Watch has him third: “It wouldn’t be a surprise to see KD take home the Most Improved Player award. All he does is drop in about 30 points and eight rebounds a night for the league’s biggest surprise.”
Kelly Dwyer, Behind the Box Score: ”Things didn’t always feel so warm for OKC. Philadelphia hung around, Andre Iguodala on the outside and Elton Brand on the inside, but the shots stopped falling as the third quarter dwindled and the fourth quarter took off. A quick 12 off the bench for James Harden in 21 minutes, 26 points for Kevin Durant (though he didn’t even score in his six minute fourth quarter stint), and Serge Ibaka (10 and seven in 21 minutes) continues to get better with each passing game. Apologies for cherry-picking, but if you take away Russell Westbrook’s fabulous 10-13 night against the Lakers from last Friday, he’s shooting 30 percent (18 of 60) over his last six games.”
The Thunder Girls made it to the second round of the NBA bracket thing. And you should vote for them again. They would most definitely appreciate that.
Darnell Mayberry: “The Thunder now has 45 wins with nine left to play. Tonight’s win moved OKC back into sixth place. If the playoffs started today, the Thunder would play, surprise, surprise, Utah. Not the seeding many might have expected, but it’s the matchup Thunder heads sound like they prefer.”
Philly.com’s recap: ”They are young, fast, athletic, fun to watch and very good. The Oklahoma City Thunder is everything the 76ers wanted to be this season. Though the Thunder possesses something the Sixers don’t – a legitimate superstar in third-year forward Kevin Durant.”
Pro Basketball Talk: “Great sign for OKC – not one Thunder starter scored a basket in the fourth quarter, yet they started the period out on a 19-4 run and put this one away handily. Oklahoma City was in control from the start — early on Elton Brand and Iggy start out 10 of 15, while rest of team 3 of 11. That will catch up with you, and it did the Sixers.”
Mustafa Shakur has been signed by the Thunder for the rest of the season.
Looking at Most Improved: “Oklahoma City Thunder forward Kevin Durant is one name that gets mentioned, though his shooting percentage is the same as last year, three-point percentage is down, and assists are slightly down. He has raised his scoring 4.3 points while also improving his rebounding, free throw shooting, and block numbers. A lot of his improvement hasn’t necessarily come in the numbers, but how he has led a very young Thunder team to the playoffs so quickly.”
Magic Number Watch: With the Thunder’s win, it’s now two for Houston and three for Memphis. Big night tonight too – OKC plays Boston, Memphis plays Dallas and Houston plays San Antonio. So if things go to plan, we could get REALLY close.