We knew beforehand that Kevin Durant would sit out this “meaningless” game; were Russell Westbrook not working on his Iron Man streak 394 consecutive game appearances, way ahead of anyone else in the NBA he’d be riding the pine too. It was Scott Brooks’ idea to let the kids play this one, and three of them posted career highs: Reggie Jackson 23, Perry Jones 14, and Jeremy Lamb 13. These were, however, the only Thundermen in double figures, as the Milwaukee Bucks took command late in the third quarter and spoiled the season finale at the ‘Peake, 95-89.
Not that we were getting all the senior Deer, either: rookie John Henson, usually a power forward, spent 44 minutes in the middle, racking up a game-high 28 points and 15 rebounds. Monta Ellis, who’d play 50 minutes if you’d let him, was on the floor for only 11. Even Marquis Daniels, who’d spent much of the latter half of the season in the doghouse, was set free.
If there’s anything to be learned from this, it’s that the kids need to work on the long ball. (OKC made only three out of 21 treys, two by Thabo Sefolosha during his seven-minute stint, and one by Derek Fisher.) And hey, Milwaukee was happy to get the win. As the phrase goes, worse things can happen, and the playoffs start this weekend. (MidFirst Bank already has the seven-story banner along I-44 west of the Broadway Distention.)