Micah Adams of ESPN.com on the MVP race: “In describing LeBron James‘ season, “great” might not even begin to do it justice. If the season ended today, his PER (player efficiency rating) of 32.6 would be the best in NBA history, surpassing Wilt Chamberlain’s 1961-62 and 1962-63 seasons. Just how good has James been? Kevin Durant is currently second in the NBA in PER at 27.4. The difference between James and Durant is about the same as the difference between Durant and Tony Parker, who ranks 16th in the category.”
Via Kevin Ding, Kobe’s highlight from on-court convo with Durant and Harden: ‘Maybe one day they’ll be able to sit at my lunch table.’”
From Elias: Kevin Durant made 12 of 22 field-goal attempts, including 10 of 14 from two-point range (71%) while making all seven free-throw attempts in the Thunder’s 100-85 home win over the Lakers. The only other player this season to shoot at least 70% on two-point attempts (minimum 10 2-pointers made) and go perfect from the free-throw line with at least seven attempts was the Pistons’ Greg Monroe on January 12 at Milwaukee (12-for-16 2-point FG, 8-for-8 FT). It was the fifth such game in Durant’s five-year NBA career. That’s the most by any player since he entered the league in the 2007-08 season.
Kobe on Westbrook: “I don’t know what the media is doing out here, but everybody needs to just lay off of Russell. That’s a bad little dude, man. That’s a bad little dude, man. You guys are fortunate to have him. You guys have two explosive scorers here. I like how he’s playing. He’s going to have to just keep doing his thing.”
Via ESPN LA, Sam Presti used to make mix CDs for Mike Brown: “He used to be into music. I don’t know if he is now, but he used to make me music CDs,” Brown said before the Lakers’ game against the Thunder on Thursday. “I listen to all types of music. I like the jazz, smooth, mellow type. He turned me on to that a little bit. He’s a good guy.”
Matt Moore of CBSSports.com give Harden an A for last night: “It’s not every night you get to beat up Kobe Bryant’s shooting percentage, talk trash to him, steal from him and then outrun him in transition, and get the win. Harden was brilliant defensively, which isn’t commonplace, Thursday night. Staring down Bryant and not backing down gets bonus points.”
Berry Tramel: “In the fourth quarter, Bynum got free for a dunk on Mohammed and a short hook shot on Aldrich. Perkins returned to the game, and soon thereafter, Bynum got loose for a dunk. Brooks summoned Perkins and joked, “Don’t let it happen again.” But Gran Torino doesn’t joke. Not during a ballgame. “Oh yes, Coach, I won’t,” he said. Bynum got the ball back in the post on the Lakers’ next possession and was muscled by Perkins into a bad shot. Bynum never got off another, and the Thunder won going away. Of course, beating the Lakers, now or in the playoffs, doesn’t mean winning the West. It’s not 2010 anymore. But beating the Lakers, beating them like this, shows the plan is working. Happy birthday to the trade.”
Darnell Mayberry: “Way too many Lakers fans in the house. It’s like that in every arena in the NBA. But I assumed the Thunder’s fan base had grown into something more special. It was pretty nice to hear the home fans drown out the Lakers fans during intros, though. I can’t stand when a visiting team’s fans take over at a road arena. That goes for any team.”