Share “Thunder notebook: MVP talk”

By Mike Baldwin, Staff Writer, mbaldwin@opubco.com Modified: March 31, 2010 at 7:14 am •  Published: March 31, 2010

Philadelphia Inquirer columnist Stephen Smith told Kevin Durant in the locker room after the game he’s going to put Durant No. 2 on his MVP ballot behind LeBron James, the overwhelming favorite.

"To be honest I get kind of tired of people talking to me about it,” Durant said before the game. "Those awards really don’t mean anything to me. My first year coming in, winning Rookie of the Year, being in that race was cool. That was something that I wanted to accomplish.

"But it’s all about winning for me right now. Trying to get to the playoffs, trying to get to a championship (level), that’s what it’s about. That stuff is over for me, going out playing for awards. I don’t even think about it to be honest. But it’s cool to be in the race.”

Hit and miss
Point guard Russell Westbrook had an odd game. Westbrook dished out 14 assists, one shy of his career high, and had only one turnover. Westbrook, though, was 1-of-10 from the field before making his final two shots.

"Russell really set the tone defensively. He got after it,” said coach Scott Brooks. "I’m sure he would have liked to have made a few more shots, but he controlled the game.”

Extra motivation?
Thunder assistant coach Mo Cheeks’ jersey hangs in the Wachovia Center rafters. He also coached the Sixers for four years before he was fired early last season. Tuesday’s game was Cheeks’ first back in Philly since he was dismissed.

"I’m focusing my energy on the Thunder,” Cheeks said. "Obviously coming back here brings back a lot of memories.