Seventeen career NBA minutes weren’t enough to prepare Lakers rookie Anthony Brown for the task of guarding Kevin Durant Saturday, writes Anthony Slater of The Oklahoman. With Kobe Bryant out with a sore shoulder, the task of checking Durant fell to the second-round pick out of Stanford. The Thunder star gave Brown a tough NBA lesson, torching him for 14 first-quarter points on the way to a 22-point night and a 40-point blowout victory. “He’s 7 feet and handles like he’s 6’2″,” Brown said of Durant after the game.
There’s more from the Pacific Division:
- Durant’s free agency is sure to be among the top stories of the 2016 offseason, and the Lakers are expected to be one of the primary suitors, according to Mark Medina of The Los Angeles Daily News. L.A. has had little success in attracting top-shelf free agents over the past two seasons, but GM Mitch Kupchak is hoping young players like Julius Randle and D’Angelo Russell will get Durant’s attention. “We have to develop our core players,” Kupchak said. “When you’re recruiting a veteran free agent, especially a free agent that may have to take less money to come to your city, they want to know who they’re going to play with.”
- The Suns have been successful when they have offseason free agent addition Tyson Chandler and Alex Len both available to share the minutes at center, writes Paul Coro of The Arizona Republic. Phoenix is 7-1 when they combine for 45 minutes, but injuries and illness have often kept Chandler out of the lineup.
- Warriors interim coach Luke Walton tells Steve Bulpett of The Boston Herald that he hasn’t gotten much advice from his Hall of Fame father Bill during Golden State’s 26-1 start. “We email and text, but he’s more in a supportive role,” the coach said. “He loves the way we play. It reminds him of some of his old teams, and he’s proud. But that’s pretty much where that conversation ends.”