Fri, Mar 13, 2015 - Page 20 News List

Thunder eyeing return of Kevin Durant after loss

AFP, OKLAHOMA CITY, Oklahoma

The Los Angeles Clippers’ Chris Paul, left, goes to the basket against the Oklahoma City Thunder’s Russell Westbrook during their game in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, on Wednesday.

Photo: EPA

Oklahoma City coach Scott Brooks on Wednesday said that NBA Most Valuable Player Kevin Durant would return in one to two weeks — and it cannot come soon enough for the Thunder.

The Los Angeles Clippers silenced the Thunder 120-108 on Wednesday, Oklahoma City’s fourth defeat in seven games.

The latest setback dropped them out of the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference.

Chris Paul had 33 points and nine assists for the Clippers, who have won five of their past seven and are fifth in the West.

DeAndre Jordan scored 18 points and pulled down 17 rebounds, J.J. Redick provided 25 points, seven assists and five rebounds, while Matt Barnes chipped in 22 points for the Clippers, who are still without injured forward Blake Griffin.

Russell Westbrook provided 24 points, nine rebounds and seven assists, while Anthony Morrow added 26 points off the bench for the Thunder, who will be eager to welcome back Durant for their playoff push.

Durant has been sidelined since a Feb. 22 procedure to reduce pain in his surgically repaired right foot.

“He’s progressing,” Brooks said before Wednesday’s game. “We evaluated him today and expect him to return within a week, a week or two weeks.”

The Clippers led 65-57 at halftime and Barnes opened the third quarter with a three-pointer that stretched the margin to double digits.

He drained two more from long range as Los Angeles stretched their lead to 83-63.

They led by as many as 22, before taking an 100-85 lead into the fourth quarter.

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