Kevin Durant lost his patience before Game 2 against the L.A. Lakers on Tuesday night. The easy-going Oklahoma City Thunder star became riled up when responding to yet another question about his reaction to Lakers coach Phil Jackson, who last week criticized officials for how the call the game for Durant. The third-year forward has been asked about his retort to Jackson’s comments almost daily over the past week, by newspaper and radio reporters, and even on ESPN’s Jim Rome is Burning. And so when Durant was asked once again whether he overreacted to Jackson, Durant, well, overreacted. "Do you think I overreacted?” Durant asked the reporter, who responded by saying he didn’t know. "Are you one of them?” Durant continued. "Nah, I didn’t overreact. Why, because I’m a third-year player I can’t say nothing back to Phil Jackson? I’m standing up for myself and what I believe in. I really don’t say nothing to too many people in this league who say stuff about me and our team and how I play and how we play. But I felt I had to say something back. "I’m always quiet. I’m always nice and (respectful) to other people, not just on the basketball floor but off the basketball floor, like you guys. But I felt at that time I had to take up for myself. It is what it is. It’s over with. It had nothing to do with this series.”
Krstic’s knee no longer an issueThunder coach Scott Brooks said Nenad Krstic’s bruised right knee that caused the starting center to miss the final four regular season games is no longer an issue and will not impact how the coach distributes minutes against the Lakers. "He’s fine,” Brooks said. "We found that out when he came back after Friday’s workout and was feeling fine. So minutes are no issue. It’s just we have a nice little four-man, big-man rotation. And there’s times he gets 22 and there’s times he gets 32 minutes. It’s just based on how the game is going and how his game is going.”
Upset alertAfter short-handed Utah won at Denver and Chicago scared top-seeded Cleveland on Monday night, did Jackson warn his team about a possible upset? "We’ve been very aware of that as a team,” the Laker coach said. "Our captains (Kobe Bryant and Derek Fisher) expressed that message, that we haven’t done anything yet.”
Scott attendsFormer Laker great Byron Scott, who coached the Hornets the two years they relocated to Oklahoma City, attended the game. Scott, who was fired by the Hornets in mid-season, hopes to return to coaching. He has moved back to the Los Angeles area, where he grew up. Some figure Scott and Brian Shaw are the leading candidates to replace Jackson, should the Laker coach step down after this season. Shaw is a former Laker and current Laker assistant coach.
Thunder goes old schoolThe Thunder shootaround Tuesday morning was in Santa Monica High School’s old gym, complete with missing ceiling tiles, backboards extending from 2x4s on the wall, school bells ringing and students peering through a door window. "It kind of reminds you, everybody has great high school memories,” said Brooks. "This is a great atmosphere. It’s an old gym. The guys love it here.” Here’s more to love. Santa Monica High School is within walking distance of the team hotel.
BrieflyThabo Sefolosha finished eighth in Defensive Player of the Year voting. "It’s good to have some recognition that I’m a defensive player,” he said. ... About three hours before the start of Tuesday’s game, the Lakers unveiled a statue of legendary broadcaster Chick Hearn. Several former Lakers attended the ceremony in honor of the late Hearn. ... NBA commissioner David Stern is scheduled to attend Thursday’s Game 3 in Oklahoma City.