Thunder notebook: Emotional moment for Kevin Durant

Oklahoman Modified: February 27, 2009 at 4:50 am •  Published: February 27, 2009
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Kevin Durant broke out in tears Wednesday night in Austin when the Longhorns retired his No. 35 jersey.

"I told myself I wasn’t going to cry, but once they played the video highlights and unveiled the jersey, I got real emotional,” Durant said. "It was one of the best days of my life. I’ve come a long way.

"A lot of people doubted me when I was growing up. A lot of people doubted me and said I wouldn’t be anything at Texas. It feels good to prove all those people wrong and shine some light on the university and Oklahoma City. It was exciting for me and my family.”

DEFENSIVE COMMUNICATION
Coach Scott Brooks has emphasized defense, but statistically the Thunder has regressed since Desmond Mason suffered a season-ending injury. There was improvement Tuesday night against the Lakers, but Oklahoma City has allowed 113.0 points a game in February.

"One thing we need to get better at is communicating,” Durant said. "That goes a long way on the defensive end, just talking, let guys know they have help. In this league, you can’t guard any player one-on-one. Everybody can score at this level.”

TOUGH MONTH
The Thunder closes February with back-to-back road games. With eight games against playoff caliber teams, February figured to be the toughest month of the season. Oklahoma City is 2-8 this month after going 7-7 in January.

"If we want to be a playoff team (in the future), we have to be able to beat those teams,” said Nick Collison. "We’re a long way from it right now, but we can’t look at the schedule and give up on these games.


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