Thunder notebook: Kevin Durant added to 3-point contest

Oklahoma City All-Star will replace Atlanta's Joe Johnson, who has an injured left knee.
BY JOHN ROHDE, Staff Writer, jrohde@opubco.com Published: February 22, 2012
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The Thunder plays the Los Angeles Lakers on Thursday at 8:30 p.m. at Chesapeake Energy Arena in a nationally televised game on TNT. Then it's the All-Star break.

TIP-INS

OKC avoided the turnover bug the entire first half with zero in the first quarter and committing just two in the second period. The problem returned in full force in the second half, however, as the Thunder finished with 14 turnovers, which led to 16 points for the Celtics. … Boston is the worst rebounding team in the league and it showed as OKC outrebounded the Celtics 43-32. The Thunder is last in opponent offensive rebounds, but Boston managed just three offensive boards. … Thunder sixth man James Harden had 15 points in 18 first-half minutes. He scored two points in 16 second-half minutes. … Russell Westbrook scored a game-high 31 points, marking the first time in his career he had three straight 30-point games. … After shooting 4 for 13 in the second half, Durant finished 9 for 22 from the field to shoot less than 50 percent for only the second time in the last eight games.

COLD-HOT-COOL

OKC started the game shooting 1 for 10 from the field and fell behind 15-5 with 7½ minutes left in the first quarter. The Thunder then hit 25 of its final 36 shots (.694) of the first half to lead 72-49 for its highest-scoring half of the season. OKC shot just 42.1 percent after intermission to finish at 50 percent for the game.

Thunder guard Daequan Cook shot 3 for 8 from 3-point range and is now 7 for his last 42 from beyond the arc. He tied a season-high with 17 points.

Reserve guard Royal Ivey had eight points and went 3 for 4 from the field (2 for 3 from 3-point range). Center Nazr Mohammed went 3 for 3.

QUOTABLE

Rivers on Westbrook: “I think Westbrook takes way too much heat. I think he's a terrific player. He plays hard every night. He attacks you every night. Just because he may not be the perfect something, what everybody wants him to be, doesn't mean he's still not a great player. I think he's just a tough, tough cover for everyone every night.”



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