Thunder notebook: Kevin Durant suffers bruised shoulder

BY JOHN ROHDE, Staff Writer, jrohde@opubco.com Modified: March 18, 2011 at 11:38 pm •  Published: March 18, 2011

With 1:40 left in the Thunder's 99-82 victory at home over Charlotte on Friday night, All-Star forward Kevin Durant suffered a bruised left shoulder injury and was taken to the locker room.

Durant was injured by an inadvertent elbow while playing defense and fighting through a screen.

“It was a quick stinger,” Durant said afterward. “They're being cautious. That's why they took me to the back, but I'm all right.”

Thunder coach Scott Brooks said the injury will be re-examined before Saturday morning's light practice session. OKC hosts Toronto on Sunday at 6 p.m.

*The NBA's single-season free-throw shooting percentage record of .832 appears to be safe. After a sizzling start that saw the Thunder shooting a ridiculous .870-plus after the first dozen games, OKC is now holding steady at .826.

The Thunder, which shot just .727 (16 for 22) against Charlotte, essentially is a lock to lead the league this season. New York is second at .808. However, the Boston Celtics' record-setting clip of 1989-90 seems to be out of reach.

*Durant and fellow All-Star Russell Westbrook shot a combined 3 for 13 in the first half while their teammates shot 15 for 20. In the second half, Durant and Westbrook shot a combined 12 for 19 and scored 33 points, which helps explain why OKC outscored the Bobcats 54-39 after intermission.

*No doubt Kendrick Perkins is a superb defensive presence, but it took 2½ games for him to get his first blocked shot with the Thunder. It came at the 10:52 mark of the third quarter against D.J. Augustin.

*Former Thunder forward D.J. White received a nice ovation when he entered the game early in the second quarter. He finished with nine points and four rebounds in 12 minutes.

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