Thu, Dec 04, 2014 - Page 20 News List

Thunder lose despite Durant’s return


Oklahoma City star Kevin Durant, sidelined since October after surgery to repair a broken right foot, scored 27 points in his NBA season debut on Tuesday, a loss at New Orleans.

Last season’s NBA Most Valuable Player suffered a broken bone at the base of the small toe during a pre-season exhibition game and in his absence the Thunder struggled to a 5-12 start.

Adding to Oklahoma City’s woes was the injury absence of back-court star Russell Westbrook, who only returned to the Thunder lineup on Friday last week.

However, not even the potent pairing together was enough against New Orleans as Tyreke Evans scored a game-high 30 points, Anthony Davis added 25 points and 10 rebounds, while Ryan Anderson came off the bench to score 23 points for the Pelicans.

Durant played 30 minutes, the maximum he was going to be allowed into the game as a precautionary move, and hit nine-of-18 shots from the field and six-of-seven from the free-throw line.

He grabbed three rebounds, passed off two assists and gave away five turnovers.

Westbrook added 21 points for the Thunder.

Durant, the reigning NBA scoring champion, took his first career MVP award last season by averaging 32 points, 7.4 rebounds and 5.5 assists a game.

He became only the fourth player in NBA history to win four scoring titles in five years, joining Hall of Famers Michael Jordan, Wilt Chamberlain and George Gervin.

The Thunder had won two games in a row after a six-game losing streak.

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