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Thunder notebook: Denver focused on stopping Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook

By Darnell Mayberry, John Rohde and Berry Tramel, Staff Writers Published: April 18, 2011

Many of Denver's Game 2 adjustments will be trying to reduce the damage Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook inflicted, scoring a combined 72 points on 25-of-45 shooting.

Questions already have surfaced as to whether the tandem can be stopped.

“Can you stop anybody in this league?” Denver forward Kenyon Martin asked Monday. “No. You can contain them. They made tough shots. They're two great players. They're one of the highest scoring tandems in this league. They made tough shots. They made contested 3s. If Russell Westbrook is making contested 3s then you tilt your hat, pat him on his ass and go down the other way.”

The Nuggets will focus on turning Durant and Westbrook into passers on Wednesday.

Denver coach George Karl said any adjustments will be slight. He isn't planning to overreact to two great individual performances.

“Let me whisper this,” Karl said. “I don't think Durant and Westbrook are going to get (72) points in four games.”


Durant cautioned Monday the Thunder has yet to accomplish anything with a Game 1 win over Denver.

“This series could go either way,” Durant said. “We (saw) that last year. We were down 2-0 and tied the series up when we came back home. I think we did what we're supposed to do. Any team with home-court advantage is supposed to win the first game.”


Prior to Game 1, Martin gave his frontcourt mate a pep talk.

He told center Nene the Thunder couldn't guard him. The only thing OKC could try to do, Martin said, was frustrate him.

Martin must be some kind of motivational speaker. Nene poured in a team-high 22 points on 9-for-11 shooting along with a team-high tying eight rebounds. In the four-game regular season series, Nene averaged 15.5 points and 8.8 rebounds against the Thunder.

“He came out and took it to heart and we did an excellent job of finding him under the defense,” Martin said. “They can't guard him. He's too quick, too strong. They might try to body him up but he can go around them. So the only thing they can do is try to frustrate him.”

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