HALF A HUNDREDKevin Durant scored a career-high 47 points Tuesday night. Five players have scored 50 or more this season. Kobe Bryant (61, 53, 52) and LeBron James (52, 51 and 50) have done it three times each. Tony Parker (55), Brandon Roy (52) and Jamal Crawford (50) have done it once. Durant, though, has been the league’s hottest player for two months. Averaging 33.1 points in February, Durant is fourth in the league in scoring (25.9). He has scored 30 or more points 15 times, including five consecutive games earlier this month.
SCOUTING PHOENIXThe Suns have averaged 141.0 points in two wins under new coach Alvin Gentry, who has switched back to a fast-paced style. Both wins were over the Los Angeles Clippers. "We have to do a good job of getting back on defense,” Brooks said. "Steve Nash is one of the better point guards in the league. (Amare) Stoudemire is a powerful forward, an explosive scorer. Shaq (O’Neal) is playing All-Star basketball. Playing in their building, we’ll have to play well.”
BOOMER SOONERTwo Thunder players have rooting interest in OU’s two games this weekend. The Sooners probably will be ranked No. 1 in the nation if they defeat the Texas Longhorns on Saturday in Austin. "I’m not a big OU fan,” Durant said, smiling. "Hopefully, we can come out with the win. But being real, OU is playing very well this year. They’re one of the top teams in the country.” Forward Nick Collison, who played at Kansas, plans to attend a Big Monday game when the Jayhawks visit Lloyd Noble Center. "I haven’t been there since I played them,” Collison said. "We got smacked pretty good. (Kansas) isn’t in this situation very often, being the underdog, so hopefully KU can pull it out.”
WATCH PARTYThunder officials are hosting a watch party for tonight’s game at Buffalo Wild Wings on Northwest Expressway. Drink specials and door prizes are being offered. One fan will win a trip to watch the Thunder play March 14 in Phoenix. Rumble the Bison and the Thunder girls will be in attendance. Anyone who brings a hat from an opposing NBA team can trade it for a free Thunder hat.
FAST BREAK...Brooks said he briefly addressed the Tyson Chandler rescinded trade before practice and informed players it’s another example this is a business. ... Joe Smith lives in Phoenix and could re-join the team tonight. BY MIKE BALDWIN