There was afternoon basketball on Sunday, with the Thunder tipping off in Toronto against the Raptors at 1 p.m. Eastern.
Toronto hosts more of these early starts than any team in the league, but it didn’t bother the Thunder as they improved their league-best record to 26-7 with a 104-92 victory.
Kevin Durant finished with 22 points on 6-of-11 shooting, and he made sure to have some fun along the way.
Late in the fourth quarter, Durant finds himself isolated on the perimeter with DeMar DeRozan defending. After putting the ball through his legs, he crosses DeRozan not once, but twice before exploding past him into the lane for the easy bucket.
The scariest part about Durant is that his overall game is getting stronger, and he’s becoming a more complete player with each passing season. The improvement in both his passing and ball-handling has been evident on a nightly basis, and DeRozan was simply the latest victim of Durant’s devastating skill set.
Rumor: Bulls expected to wait until 2019 for free-agency splash
“We did this year what we felt was in the longterm best interests of the Bulls,” Paxson said. “It’s not a situation that any of us want to ever be in again; it goes against everything as a competitive person that you believe in; but it’s the way the system is set up.”
Chicago could try to turn around quickly. The Bulls project to have about $25 million in cap space this summer – enough to land a good player or two.
This is the wise course. It’s unlikely Chicago can lure anyone good enough to lift such a young core quickly. The Bulls are better off remaining patient – and bad, which will net another high draft pick as Lauri Markkanen, Zach LaVine and Kris Dunn develop.
This is also probably the course thrust upon Chicago. Even if they wanted to, the Bulls probably can’t land a premier free agent this summer. Star free agents can see the same problems with Chicago trying for a quick fix and will likely avoid the situation.
There’d be no harm in trying for top free agents like LeBron James or even Paul George. But the Bulls will probably be relegated to 2019 if they want to sign someone meaningful. Better they realize that than make a desperate attempt for relevance this year.
Rich Cho on Trail Blazers getting swept: ‘Being a previous Portland GM, that didn’t disappoint me’
Josh Allen, a quarterback from Wyoming, could be the No. 1 pick in tonight’s NFL draft. But his recently unearthed high school tweets – which include using the n-word with an ‘a’ at the end – are the sports story of the day.
The Jazz blew a 25-point second-half lead in Game 5 last night, extending their series with the Thunder. Up 3-2, the Jazz are still in control. They can close out in Game 6 tomorrow in Utah. Blow that, and they must return to Oklahoma City for Game 7 Sunday.
But Utah rookie Donovan Mitchell is making it abundantly clear he doesn’t plan to do that.