Thunder notebook: Nuggets run hot, then cold

By John Rohde, Staff Writer, jrohde@opubco.com Modified: April 21, 2011 at 12:25 am •  Published: April 21, 2011

PBWA HONORS DURANT

Durant was honored by the Professional Basketball Writers Association, winning the Magic Johnson Award as the player who combines on-court performance with steady co-operation with the media.

Durant beat out finalists Manu Ginobili of the San Antonio Spurs, Elton Brand of the Philadelphia 76ers and Derrick Rose of the Chicago Bulls.

“Kevin's a uniquely skilled individual on the court and his willingness to accept the media responsibilities that go with his place in the game are valued by writers who cover the league,” said PBWA president Doug Smith of the Toronto Star.

VADEN JOINS THUNDER

Swingman Robert Vaden was called up from the Tulsa 66ers of the NBA Developmental League and joined the Thunder for Wednesday's shoot-around in preparation for Game 2. It's extremely doubtful Vaden will be activated for a postseason game.

Vaden helped the 66ers to the D-League semifinals and averaged 16.8 points, 4.3 rebounds, 1.5 assists and 32.3 minutes in four postseason games. During the regular season, he averaged 10.4 points, 2.4 rebounds, 2.2 assists and 28.0 minutes in 45 games (17 starts).

“He had a great year in Tulsa,” Brooks said. “I used him (Wednesday) to guard Kevin in a drill. He gives us another body in practice that we need.”

BRIEFLY

Thunder reserve forward Nick Collison is 5 for 6 from the field in the series. He hit his first four shots before missing an off-balance layup attempt. … The Nuggets narrowed a 26-point deficit to 12 in the second quarter with Kenyon Martin on the bench. Martin didn't score his first points until the 6:38 mark of the third quarter. … Until Martin missed a free throw late in the third quarter, Denver was 17 for 21 from the free-throw line with all four misses coming from Nene (6 for 10). The Nuggets, who shot 63.6 percent from the line in Game 1, finished at 75.7 percent in Game 2. … Nuggets reserve guard J.R. Smith left the game midway through the second quarter and iced down his left shoulder. He did not return. … Thunder center Kendrick Perkins fouled out with 3:38 left and received a standing ovation for 11 rebounds and seven points.

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