OKC Thunder notebook: Nick Young motivated by Kevin Durant's alleged remarks

By John Rohde, Staff Writer, jrohde@opubco.com Published: April 17, 2012
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According to a blog on ESPNLosAngeles.com, Clippers reserve guard Nick Young became inspired late in the first quarter of Monday night's 92-77 victory against the Thunder at Staples Center, claiming two-time scoring champ Kevin Durant baited him with “You can't guard me. You can't guard me.”

Young scored five points in a span of 36 seconds late in the first period and finished with 19 points in 21 minutes on 7-for-10 shooting from the field, including 3 for 4 from 3-point range.

Durant finished with 24 points, shot 7 for 18 overall and went just 1 for 8 from the field in the second half, including 0 for 5 from 3-point range.

“I guess he heard in the papers that I was locking him up,” Young said of defending Durant. “So that kind of motivated me.”

Trouble is, Durant insists he never said anything to Young.

“I didn't say anything. I didn't say a word to Nick. I was talking to Mo Williams,” said Durant, who received a double-technical along with Williams with 1:50 left before halftime.

Durant's response was not quoted in the blog.

Asked if he said “You can't guard me” to Young, Durant smiled in disbelief and said, “Nah, I didn't say that. I guess he's hearing things.”

COACH DECKER

As part of the Make-A-Wish Foundation event, Putnam City North senior golfer Lorelei Decker will serve as the Thunder's coach for a day next Tuesday when OKC hosts the Sacramento Kings.

The 17-year-old Decker was diagnosed with Hodgkin's Lymphoma in late January. Survival rate for Decker's type of cancer is 80 percent or better, and the family has been encouraged by recent blood tests.

“It hasn't crossed my mind that I won't beat it,” Decker said. “I'm young and healthy. I believe in myself and my doctors and I believe in the power of prayer — and I have a lot of prayer.”

BY THE NUMBERS

The Thunder is: