The challenge going into the final three games was staying focused and finishing strong.
“We know what we have to do, man,” Durant said. “We want to win every single game. We want to play well. We want to play hard. And we want to get better. No matter who we play, we just try to bring that mindset.”
LILLARD “OBVIOUS” CHOICE FOR ROY
Portland rookie guard Damian Lillard is virtually a lock to win this year's Rookie of the Year award, and the Thunder is among the seemingly 99 percent of people on the planet who think it's only a formality.
“He has the composure of a guy that's been in the league for seven or eight years,” said Thunder coach Scott Brooks. “Nothing seems to bother or rattle him. He makes big shots. He makes plays for his team. He just plays with so much control, and it's great to see the improvement that he has made throughout this year. He had a great first month and it seems like every month he's played a little bit better. He's obviously going to win Rookie of the year the way he has played.”
Lillard entered Friday's game averaging 19.1 points, 3.1 rebounds and 6.5 assists.
“I'm a big fan of him,” said Durant. “I like the way he carries himself on the court. He's quiet. He looks like he's been through it before. I root for guys like him. He's never flashy. You don't see him out there talking trash.”
Brooks on being short-handed for the second time this season at Portland — “DeAndre (Liggins) isn't walking through that door.”