Observations, news and notes from Wednesday’s 126-85 win……..
* D.J. White finally showed how much of an impact he could have on the boards. His three blocked shots weren’t half bad either.
* Earl Watson’s final three games were truly….(wait for it)…..amazing. OK, so I went to far. But I think his averages of 12.3 points, 8.7 assists and 4.7 rebounds more accurately depicted the type of player he really is.
* With 26 points tonight, Kevin Durant finished sixth in the league in scoring at 25.3 per game.
* Shaun Livingston returned to the place where it all started for him and delighted the Los Angeles Clippers’ fans. He had six points, seven rebounds, two assists, one steal and zero turnovers in 33 minutes. Nice gesture by (full-time) head coach Scott Brooks to give him the starting nod in his return to L.A.
* Speaking of Brooks, allow me to clear up something from Wednesday’s editions of The Oklahoman. Russell Westbrook was not and is not opposed to Brooks. He was simply saying that the decision was not up to him and never gave a firm answer one way or the other. But I know for a fact that Westbrook enjoys Brooks as a person and as a coach. In fact, while I was interviewing Brooks before the game, Westbrook gave his coach a hard five as he walked by.
* Westbrook played in all 82 games. The only other rookies to pull the feat: Luc Mbah a Moute, Mario Chalmers, Jason Thompson, Marc Gasol, Brook Lopez and O.J. Mayo.
* Since I’m on rookies, thought I’d mention that I’m turning in my ballot for 2008-09 awards in when I wrap this up. My three-man ballot for the ROY award will read, Derrick Rose, O.J. Mayo and Brook Lopez.
* The Thunder flew back to OKC following the game and will meet the media bright and early Thursday morning before having exit interviews with Brooks and Presti and taking off. We’ll flood the session and collect lots of goodies one last time.
* Of all the things Brooks experienced in this historic Thunder season, the one thing he’ll remember most is how his players stayed strong throughout it all: “We all stayed together,” Brooks said. “The fact that they continued to work and push each other and get each other better, that’s what I will remember this year.”
* Durant told me before the game that he’s going to be more committed to a strenuous off-season workout schedule, one that includes lifting four or five times a week and eating three to four meals a day. Can’t wait to see him in October.
* Clippers coach Mike Dunleavy on the game….”I am not going to sugar coat it. Tonight’s game was the icing on the cake that is this season, and it was the worst possible way to end a season. In 30 years of coaching and playing, it is the worst I have seen.”