KD and Uncle Jeff played basketball last night: “Durant, who came in averaging an NBA-best 28 points per game, had missed the past two games, also with a left ankle sprain. Monday, he scored 28 points in 40 minutes as the Thunder improved to 10-4. Oklahoma City led by as many as 18 points in the second half, but trailed by as many as six points after Minnesota’s Darko Milicic (FSY) made a three-point play with less than seven minutes to play. Even without Durant and Green, the Thunder had won their past four games, including road wins at the Utah Jazz, Boston Celtics and Milwaukee Bucks. The Thunder scored 65 points in the first half Monday and shot 54.8% for the game.”
KD and Michael Beasley are friends: “World Championship gold medal winner and NBA MVP candidate Kevin Durant returned to the Thunder’s starting lineup Monday night after a two-game injury absence just in time to see an old friend. He first met Timberwolves forward Michael Beasley on the same youth basketball team when they were 9 years old. Now all grown up, they chest-bumped each other right before Monday night’s opening tip in a matchup of high- scoring small forwards.”
The Thunder hasn’t been good at all in the fourth quarter recently: “It was about the only open shot the Thunder saw the entire fourth quarter — and that has become the theme throughout the past three contests. After a 7-for-17 shooting performance in the final period Monday, the Thunder has now m made just 14 of 52 field goals in the fourth quarter over the past three games. The team has escaped with wins, but a growing cause for concern is how the offense has bogged down when it matters most. Everything is ending in a jump shot, as evidenced by 27 of the Thunder’s 38 misses in the fourth quarter the last three games coming from12 feet and beyond.”
Darko said it’s been eight years since he felt as good as he did last night: “On a night when they trailed by 18 points in the third quarter and led by six midway through the fourth, tonight’s game, just like Friday’s loss to the Lakers, showed what could be with Darko Milicic. You know things are starting to change some when the national media in just a little trickle might be willing to admit that the Wolves’ signing of Milicic to that four-year deal isn’t the dumbest personnel move since the New Orleans Jazz traded the draft pick that would become Magic Johnson to the Lakers for creaky old guard Gail Goodrich.”
Power Rankings: Hollinger has the Thunder at 13.
More Power Rankings: Marc Stein has OKC in 8th.
And again, Power Rankings: NBA.com has the Thunder in 8th as well.