Kevin Durant earned Western Conference Player of the Month honors for March, the NBA announced Friday.
It is Durant's second Player of the Month award this season. He also won for the month of November.
Durant helped the Thunder to a 12-5 record in March, averaging a league-leading 27.6 points, 8.5 rebounds and 3.8 assists while shooting 48 percent from the field and 90 percent from the foul line. Durant scored at least 20 points 16 times and had 30 points or more seven times.
DURANT SHAKEN UP
Just before the halftime buzzer Friday at Indiana, Durant went down in pain after colliding with Serge Ibaka while crashing the glass on a last-season shot attempt.
Durant remained on the floor underneath the basket in front of the Thunder's bench for a moment before walking into the locker room on his own power.
A team official said the injury was a left calf contusion.
Durant returned to the court to warm up before near the end of halftime and started the third quarter. He made the first basket in the second half, converting a runner 33 seconds into the third period.
OKC has historically struggled attacking zone defenses, but Thunder coach Scott Brooks said his team has seen the scheme enough that he thinks players should be comfortable countering it.
“All it is is just moving the ball and using our abilities to create open shots and finding great shots,” Brooks said. “It's part of our growth as a team. We see that we don't have to get on our heels and not run what we were going to run. We can run any play against it. All it takes is good spacing and good ball movement.”
As the Thunder continues in its quest for the top spot in the Western Conference standings, San Antonio is facing possible serious injuries that could impact the Spurs' chase for first place.
Spurs guard Tony Parker was forced to sit the fourth quarter of Thursday night's showdown with the Thunder because of injury. When asked after the game whether Parker might need to be shut down for the remainder of the season, Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said he wasn't sure of the severity of the injury but expressed real concern about Parker's status, as well as that of star guard Manu Ginobili, who will miss at least three weeks with a hamstring injury.
“I got to see what's going on,” Popovich said of Parker. “We thought he had just recovered from his ankle. So this is something new with his leg. I just don't know what it is right now.”
Play had to be stopped briefly with 9:32 remaining in the second quarter because Nick Collison sustained an injury to his left pinkie, resulting in bleeding that got on the court. Play resumed after several ball boys cleaned the blood off the court. … Hasheem Thabeet was called for a technical foul for knocking Pacers forward Tyler Hansbrough to the floor with 8:51 remaining in the second quarter. … Russell Westbrook was whistled for a technical foul with 6:26 remaining in the second quarter for arguing a call.