LOS ANGELES — Kevin Durant will be fine. At least that’s the message Durant’s teammates and Oklahoma City Thunder coach Scott Brooks stressed Monday, one day after his poor playoff debut and one day before his first chance show what he’s really cut from in Game 2 against the Los Angeles Lakers.
"He missed a lot of shots that he normally makes,” teammate Jeff Green assured. "He didn’t get to the free throw as much. But Kevin is a great player. We’ve seen him have games like (Sunday), up and down throughout the whole season and he comes back with a great game so we know he’s going to bounce back.” Durant, swallowed up by Lakers forward Ron Artest throughout Game 1, finished with 24 points on 24 shots. Durant’s point total was 6.1 points fewer than his league-leading regular season average and 1.8 fewer than his average in four games against the Lakers in the regular season. With Durant held in check, the Thunder shot just 40 percent and was out of sync all night offensively. Russell Westbrook scored 23 points, and Green, with 10 points, was the only other Thunder player in double figures. "That’s our philosophy, to get one of their (big) three to have a poor game and make the other one struggle,” said Lakers center Andrew Bynum. Durant, who didn’t address the media Monday, appeared to be in good spirits as he took the practice court and proceeded to work on his shot with the same ferocity that he has all season. Meanwhile, the Thunder can only hope Durant’s struggles did indeed have more to do with him simply missing shots as opposed to anything Artest did defensively. "Kevin’s just going to have to keep working,” Brooks said.