SportsNation Blog Archives Kevin Durant
Russell Westbrook had an incredible statistical day Sunday: 54 points, nine rebounds and eight assists.
But other things did not go as well for the Oklahoma City Thunder star. His team lost 116-104 at the Indiana Pacers, which kept them behind the New Orleans Pelicans for the final Western Conference playoff spot because of the head-to-head tiebreaker. And the guard was called for the following technical, which will have him suspended one game, per NBA rules:
Westbrook's injured teammate, Kevin Durant, was apparently not happy with the call:
Durant, who has been rather outspoken of late, did not delete the tweet (at least as of this writing). He followed with another that showed how much it pains him to watch this playoff race from the sideline:
Good fight fellas! Love yall, let's get this one tomorrow!! #Imissgoingtobattlewiththemob— Kevin Durant (@KDTrey5) April 13, 2015
If the technical isn't rescinded, Westbrook will miss Monday's home game against the Portland Trail Blazers. That game is followed by a visit to the Minnesota Timberwolves.
The Pelicans, meanwhile, also travel to Minnesota, then play host to the San Antonio Spurs.
Both teams are 43-37.
UPDATE: The NBA rescinded Westbrook's technical, meaning he will play Monday night.
There's talk that the Oklahoma City Thunder possibly would trading Kevin Durant before he leaves in free agency. Thunder general manager Sam Presti has dismissed it. But should he be worried about losing the reigning NBA MVP?
Unless you've been separated from all technology for the past month, you're aware that Russell Westbrook is on an absolute tear -- five triple-doubles in six games, to be exact. But what you might not be aware of is that NBA analyst and former NBA executive Tom Penn thinks Westbrook's hot streak could have Oklahoma City Thunder management thinking about moving Durant next season:
"I think this burst from Westbrook makes it much more likely that Durant ultimately gets traded next year. ... Sam Presti has proven that he does not ever want to lose anybody for nothing. So he traded James Harden a year early to avoid a potential luxury tax problem a year later.
"The Kevin Durant drumbeat next year is going to be so loud because he will not commit early to Oklahoma City contractually because the rules are against that. He can't get the same contract if he signs early as if he just goes to free agency and resigns.
So if Sam Presti doesn't get that commitment, he'll look to to trade Kevin Durant. And looking at the performance of Westbrook and the team around Westbrook will make it easier for him to do that potentially."
Click here to listen to Penn's full appearance on "The Herd with Colin Cowherd."
Durant out of FIBA World Cup
Team USA suffered another high-profile loss Thursday, although this one was decidedly less frightening: Citing "physical and mental fatigue," Oklahoma City Thunder star and reigning NBA MVP Kevin Durant has pulled out of the FIBA World Cup. Paul George, who sustained a horrific leg injury last week, also will miss the Barcelona tournament, the winner of which earns an automatic bid into the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.
pollcenter:category=5481+durantoutoffibaworldcupSoobum Im/USA TODAY Sports
Spurs slam Thunder in Game 2
Things are getting ugly in the Western Conference finals, after the San Antonio Spurs followed up a strong Game 1 with an earth-shattering Game 2. Danny Green hit seven 3-pointers. Russell Westbrook was held to 15 points on 24 shots and Kevin Durant 15 on 16. In the end, the host Spurs absolutely smashed the Oklahoma City Thunder 112-77 to take a 2-0 series lead. Is this thing over, or will the Thunder get back in it in OKC?