An increasingly puzzling scene playing out on the court during Thunder games lately involves forwards Kevin Durant and Serge Ibaka having intense verbal disagreements.
In several recent games, the two have frequently yelled at each other while attempting to iron out breakdowns. Durant wouldn't go into detail about what the disputes have been over, but he said each player is simply trying to make the other better.
“We're just trying to help each other out. At the end of the day, that's all we're trying to do,” Durant said. “It's times when I mess up and he tells me. It's times when he messes up and I tell him. We both got to do a better job of responding to each other and just helping each other out.”
Asked if the frustration is from the defensive end or offense end, Durant said “it's both ends.”
“I think it goes back to us wanting to be so perfect,” Durant said. “Sometimes we both got to just calm down and play the game.”
OKC DROPS TO 2-SEED IN WEST
With the loss Sunday against the Lakers, the Thunder fell to second in the Western Conference behind San Antonio.
The Spurs, currently on a league-high eight-game winning streak, are now a game ahead of the Thunder with a 36-11 record. After losing three of six, the Thunder is 34-11.
San Antonio earned the top seed last season, finishing three games ahead of the Thunder and gaining home-court advantage through the Western Conference Finals.
Oklahoma City, however, defeated the Spurs in six games despite San Antonio winning the first two at home.
This year's battle for the top spot is a long way from being over. The Thunder still has 37 games remaining to earn home-court advantage, and OKC and San Antonio have two games remaining against each other.
LAMB, ORTON RECALLED FROM D-LEAGUE
The Thunder on Monday recalled guard Jeremy Lamb and center Daniel Orton from the Tulsa 66ers.
Lamb has appeared in 14 games with Tulsa and averaged an NBA D-League-leading 21.1 points along with 5.5 rebounds, 3.4 assists and 1.1 steals in 33.4 minutes.
Orton has played in 19 games with the 66ers and averaged 11.3 points, 7.6 rebounds, 1.8 assists, 1.3 steals and 2.1 blocks (sixth in the D-League) in 28.7 minutes.
By Darnell Mayberry