Durant Injures Hamstring As Thunder Storms Past Wizards
By Randy Renner
You could almost hear Thunder fans gasp when superstar Kevin Durant came up limping late in the first half of last night's 125-101 blow out win over his hometown Washington Wizards. You could almost hear them plead with the basketball gods, 'please don't let it be the foot, please don't let it be the foot.'
It's KD's left hamstring and both he and coach Billy Donovan don't think it's too serious.
"I mean I can walk," Durant told reporters after the game. "I'm just a little sore."
Donovan told reporters, "I don't think it's anything too, too serious."
But after what happened last season, Durant missing 55 games with three surgeries on his right foot, it's understandable Thunder fans and probably coaches and teammates too would hold their breath hoping it wasn't anything related to that.
Durant will have an MRI today in Oklahoma City to determine the extent of the injury. Asked if he expected to miss any games Durant said, "I don't know."
The Thunder catch a bit of a break with their schedule. They have a couple of days before their next game and their next opponent is the winless Philadelphia 76ers on Friday night.
"Can't hang my head, just gotta work to get back," he said. "I've been here before."
Much more often than he ever would have thought having never had anything more than a sprained ankle in his entire career up until last season.
The good news coming out of the game was that OKC had this one under control from the jump. The Thunder never trailed and led by as many as 29. Their defense held Washington to just 39.2 percent shooting, the Thunder outrebounded the Wizards 53-41 and Oklahoma City took care of the basketball, turning it over just 13 times.
"We know what we're supposed to do as a team," said superstar point guard Russell Westbrook. "We're trying to play a level that's championship-basketball level, and we took care of business tonight."
Westbrook certainly did, finishing with his 20th career triple-double. He scored 22 points will pulling down 11 rebounds and handing out 11 assists. He now leads the NBA in assists with 10.9 per game.
The Thunder also got a boost from Dion Waiters who scored 25 points on 7-for-10 shooting overall and 4-for5 on threes. But, like Durant, there were questions about Waiters health at halftime.
With Durant done, Donovan had to replace the six-time All-Star. The coach was thinking of using Waiters, but he's been dealing with an upset stomach. "So I said, `Where's Dion?' and he didn't come out there," Donovan said, explaining that's why Kyle Singler was on the court to begin the second half.
Singler has been out there a lot and some Thunder fans have been frustrated that Anthony Morrow hasn't been called on more. Both players saw action in Washington and Singler took advantage, scoring eight points and hitting both threes he put up. He also grabbed three rebounds and had a steal.
Morrow, who has spent considerable time on the bench, much more than he was used to during last season, showed some rust going just 1-for-6 and 0-for-3 on threes.
Serge Ibaka also came up big, having his best game of the season with 23 points on 9-for-15 overall and 3-for-3 from beyond the arc.
Before the game all the attention was focused on free agency talk and the chances of Durant deciding to return to his hometown area for good when his Thunder contract expires next summer.
The Thunder's quick start took the Wizards fans out of the game early and there were no overt moves to sway KD like last season. In fact he was even booed a couple of times during the first half.
"They were?" he said when asked if he heard the boos. "Nah, and I don't really care. I'm just glad we got the win."