Kevin Durant was 13-of-13 at the line with 4.3 seconds left in Monday's game at Atlanta. Sink both free throws, and the Thunder would own a 4-point lead. The game would essentially be over. Durant made the first but missed the second. Did he miss the second to provide some last-second drama?
“No, I sure didn't want to do that,” Durant said, laughing. “It looked good coming off my hand. But it's all good. We got the win.”
The missed free throw ended Durant's latest streak of consecutive 30-point games (five). Finishing with 29 points, Durant extended his streak of consecutive games (15) scoring at least 25 points, a franchise record.
“He's a definite All-Star and might be deserving of MVP,” said Atlanta coach Mike Woodson. “That's how good he's played this season for their team.”
DURANT DONATES $100,000 TO HAITI
Durant has pledged to donate $100,000 to the Haiti earthquake relief efforts. Durant is among several NBA players, including Miami's Dwyane Wade, who have raised close to $1 million to help former NBA star Alonzo Mourning, who spent a couple of days in Haiti at a make-shift hospital.
“I prayed on it, and that's what God told me I needed to do,” Durant said. “I always listen to God. I learned about it on the internet NBA's program with UNICEF. On there, Alonzo says, ‘The NBA wants you to make a $25,000 donation.' I wanted to do a little more.”
COLLISON SITS OUT
Forward Nick Collison was inactive for Monday's game after suffering a concussion Saturday night in the win over Miami. Collison said the injury occurred when Heat forward Jamaal Magloire's forearm struck him on the bridge of his nose in the fourth quarter. Collison continued to play but was woozy. A Thunder employee had to drive him home.
Averaging 5.8 points and 5.1 rebounds, Collison said he hopes to play Wednesday night in Minnesota but will be monitored the next two days by the medical staff.
With Collison out, Nenad Krstic played a season-high 38 minutes. Byron Mullens played six minutes in the first half. Serge Ibaka played 24 minutes, grabbing 10 rebounds, seven in the fourth quarter.
The Thunder will practice today at the Target Center in Minneapolis, their first practice in nearly a week.
“I like to practice. Our team likes to practice,” said coach Scott Brooks. “Every team goes through (hectic weeks) throughout the season. It will be good to get in a practice.”
SMITH'S SECOND CD
Hawks forward Joe Smith, who has written 400 to 500 songs, released his first CD, a 19-track debut entitled “The Beginning,” last season when he was with the Thunder. Smith, whose music name is Joe Beast, hopes to release his second rap CD before the NBA All-Star break.
“I put my heart and soul into my music just like I do basketball,” Smith said. “It's a whole lot of fun.”
The Thunder is 15-4 against Eastern Conference teams. ... A four-game road trip, the Thunder's longest all season, continues Wednesday night in Minnesota. ... The Thunder wore their home white uniforms, the Hawks wearing a road jersey they pull out five or six times a season. ... Atlanta traditionally hosts a game on Martin Luther King Day, the civil rights pioneer whose home church was one mile from Philips Arena.