Monday, July 16, 2018
Sports

Durant downplays game vs. Thunder

OAKLAND, Calif. — As much as Kevin Durant might try to downplay the drama, when he steps on the court against his former Thunder team for the first time tonight, emotions will be flying high for both sides.

And there's more: Durant's new Warriors team rallied from a 3-1 deficit to beat Oklahoma City in the Western Conference final just more than five months ago.

"I wouldn't say weird. I'll just be locked in to follow the game plan and just playing," Durant said. "But once you step on the court and see the different jersey, I'm sure it will hit me."

Durant will face off with old buddy Russell Westbrook, who stayed put and signed an extension. Durant departed as a free agent to join Golden State in July.

New teammate and fellow Olympian Draymond Green knows Durant will be extra motivated for the matchup.

"I think it will be a lot of emotions. They're going to want to beat him really bad; he's going to want to beat them really bad," Green said. "In turn, we're going to want to beat them really bad because we want him to beat them really bad. So I think it will be a fun game to play in. It's always a high intensity game against them, and I expect nothing less."

Westbrook went into Wednesday night's game at the Clippers leading the league with 38.7 points per game. Durant was sixth at 28.5.

GAME HIGHLIGHTS: Isaiah Thomas had 23 points and 10 assists, and the host Celtics handed the Bulls their first loss of the season, 107-100. … DeMar DeRozan continued his hot start by scoring 40 and outdueling John Wall in a showcase of All-Star guards as the visiting Raptors beat the Wizards 113-103. … Lou Williams scored 16 of his 18 in the fourth quarter, and the visiting Lakers rallied after trailing most of the game to beat the Hawks 123-116. … James Harden had 30 points and 15 assists, and the visiting Rockets routed the Knicks 118-99. … Brook Lopez had 34 points and 11 rebounds, Sean Kilpatrick added 24 points and the host Nets beat the Pistons 109-101. … Kemba Walker had 22 points, Nicolas Batum scored 17 of his 20 in a pivotal third quarter and the host Hornets handed the 76ers their fourth straight loss to open the season, 109-93.

AROUND THE LEAGUE: Celtics center and former Gator Al Horford sat out after being placed in the NBA's concussion protocol. … The Lakers were without center Timofey Mozgov because of a left eye bruise.

WNBA: The league earned a combined A-plus for its race and gender hiring practices in the report card by the Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sports at UCF. For the year, the league received A-plus for race and A for gender with an accumulative 95.5 points, which is a percentage point below its record set in 2014.

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