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Oklahoma City Thunder notebook: Kevin Durant makes fifth Sports Illustrated cover appearance

BY JOHN ROHDE Published: April 23, 2013

/articleid/3801406/1/pictures/2031005">Photo -   Oklahoma City Thunder star Kevin Durant is on the cover of this week's Sports Illustrated for the fifth time. Photo provided.
Oklahoma City Thunder star Kevin Durant is on the cover of this week's Sports Illustrated for the fifth time. Photo provided.

OKC coach Scott Brooks said of Durant: “KD is a star. He's a star (at) how he handles himself on the court, how he handles himself off the court. The guy is a classy, classy individual that commits to the team every day. I say that time and time again, but you don't get bored coaching KD because he brings everything he has.”

Houston flew back to OKC on Tuesday afternoon.


The Rockets shot just 36.3 percent from the field and 22.2 percent from 3-point range during their 120-91 loss in Game 1 at The Peake.

However, in the regular-season finale against the Thunder, Houston shot 47.8 percent from the field and 45.5 percent (15 for 33) on 3-pointers, which included shooting 61.5 percent (8 for 13) beyond the arc in the first quarter.

“We know they're going to play better,” Brooks said. “They're a very good team, well-coached.”


Game 1 was Sunday, Game 2 is Wednesday and Game 3 will be Saturday.

Brooks said having two days off between games might be beneficial to both sides.

“I think it helps both teams,” Brooks said. “Any time you can have a couple days' rest. Everybody at this time of the season is banged up.

“Today's practice was outstanding. I thought our focus was good, our intensity level was very high.”


Last season, Linsanity was all the rage in New York City.

In Game 1, however, Rockets point guard Jeremy Lin was 1 for 7 from the field and finished with four points, four assists, three rebounds, four turnovers and five fouls in 32 1/2 minutes.

“Jeremy just needs to go play,” Houston coach Kevin McHale told the Houston Chronicle. “Jeremy is going to be fine. His best attribute is his toughness.”

Lin also has excelled against OKC, finishing with 29 points, seven assists, six rebounds and two steals in the regular season finale.


McHale on his team having to improve from Game 1: “They took it to us hard that first game. How much of that was us? How much of that was them? How much can we control? … They're (Oklahoma City) good enough. They're plenty good enough without us feeding them. We don't want to do that.”


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