The 29-25 Oklahoma City Thunder are suddenly eighth-place in the Western Conference after their dominant 104-89 victory over the Dallas Mavericks on Thursday night, but it’s still not time to celebrate. Kevin Durant left his team’s win for good late in the fourth quarter with pain in his right foot – the same one he broke before the season and sprained two months ago – and later complained of nagging soreness.
The reigning MVP exited with 2:24 left after noticeably liming for several possessions. He changed his shoes several during the game, too, but was still spry enough at times to make typically explosive plays like this:
But those moments were fleeting. Durant finished just 4-of-14 from the field for 12 points and also added six rebounds and five assists.
After the game, the 26 year-old – along with team officials – stressed that his rehabilitated foot is merely sore as opposed to re-injured. Still, he’s unsure how to best proceed from here:
Durant missed the first 17 games of 2014-2015 due to a Jones fracture in his right foot. He later sprained the same foot in a loss to the Golden State Warriors just before Christmas and was subsequently sidelined for the next six contests.
Obviously, this is no cause for major concern. Oklahoma City has always maintained that its superstar could experience pain in his foot throughout the season, and seems confident this latest malady is nothing more than that.
But this should be a night of joy for the Thunder – they’re finally situated among the West’s top-eight and just completed a that some believe plug some of their long-standing hole. Instead, Oklahoma City is again concerned by the health of its best player.
Maybe the Thunder are just snakebit this season? It’s far too early to succumb to such superstition, but this latest setback – no matter how minor – is just further evidence suggesting that possibility.