Another interview, another chance for Kevin Durant to downplay any tension between himself and Russell Westbrook.
This time it was with Hoopsworld, and if you want to see the video follow this link. Here is the money quote from KD:
“There’s a lot of people that want to see us fail, of course, but it’s all good, I love Russell. He loves me back. We enjoy playing along side each other.”
I think the little spat between Westbrook and Durant became a bigger thing outside the locker room than it was inside, especially the part where fans started checking out trade scenarios. Oklahoma City isn’t moving Westbrook.
But if Durant and Westbrook are not best friends… so what?
It doesn’t matter on the court. As evidence, I present the three rings Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal won together. Teammates on good teams yell at each other and even have fight all the time. Michael Jordan yelled at everyone and we lauded it for him because he was tough and pushing his teammates. Kevin Garnett yelled (or makes that yells). Larry Bird yelled. Magic Johnson yelled. Those dominant Celtics teams in the ‘60s were no love in.
So long as the Westbrook/Durant relationship isn’t toxic to the rest of the team — and there is far from any evidence of that, they do seem to get along — then it doesn’t matter. Heck, a little tension seems to come with winning.
This sure didn’t look like just another game for Kevin Durant – and not only because the Thunder beat the Warriors for the first time since he left.
The 108-91 Oklahoma City victory didn’t look like just another game for Russell Westbrook (34 points, 10 rebounds, nine assists and four steals), either.
With the shot clock off in the fourth quarter and the game tied, Grizzlies big JaMychal Green put back Tyreke Evans‘ miss with a clutch flush. There’s a very fine line between ensuring the last shot and leaving time for an offensive rebound, and Memphis threated it almost perfectly.
Emphasis on “almost.”
The Grizzlies left the Mavericks 0.5 seconds, which Harrison Barnes used to bank in a 3-pointer – off a pinpoint bounce pass by Dennis Smith Jr. – to give Dallas a 95-94 win.
The Celtics didn’t have another comeback in them.
After overcoming a 13-point fourth-quarter deficit against the Mavericks on Monday to extend its winning streak to 16 games, Boston lost to the Heat tonight, 104-98. The streak ends as the NBA’s longest since the Hawks won 19 straight during the 2014-15 season.
The Celtics trailed Miami by 16 in the fourth quarter then cut the deficit to only one with three minutes left. But Dion Waiters hit back-to-back 3-pointers, helping the Heat pull away.
Goran Dragic (27 points) and Waiters (26 points) led Miami, which needed a reason to feel good after losing three of four to fall to 7-9.
The Celtics, on the other hand, still have a four-game cushion over the rest of the Eastern Conference. This might help them regain focus.