West Notes: Suns, Kevin Durant, Nuggets, Spurs


  • Star forward Kevin Durant has now missed four straight games with his injured ankle. The Suns are just 1-3 in those games and are on a three-game skid.
  • Durant is not due to have the ankle sprain re-evaluated for another week. The Suns have three more games in that span, including one on the road against the Lakers on March 22.
  • Coach Monty Williams said the Suns just have to try to stay positive minus their main acquisition. “You can’t get frustrated about that. It’s life,” Williams said, via Duane Rankin of the Arizona Republic


The Nuggets have lost four straight at the worst possible time. Last thing they need, after all, is to back into the playoffs as the Western Conference’s top seed.

“Right now we’re just in chill mode, and you can’t be in chill mode with 13 games to go in the season,” coach Michael Malone told reporters. “We’ve got to try to find a way to get our swagger back.”

The defense has been the biggest issue, with Denver surrendering at least 120 points in each of the last three games.

“Maybe we’ve gotten a little soft with success,” Malone said. “We’ve been on cruise control for so long, No. 1 in the West since like December 15. I just told our players we’ve gotten away from who we are.”

  • Could Malone be on the hot seat if the Nuggets don’t make some serious noise in the playoffs? That seems a bit overblown. But it could indeed be the case, as we relayed here.


Coach Gregg Popovich is finding small victories — and some real ones — in what has been an otherwise lost season of rebuilding.

That was evident after the Spurs out-shot the Magic in a home win on Tuesday.

“If you make 22 3s, you are going to have a pretty damn good night,” Popovich told reporters. “That’s just the way the rules are. We don’t do it very often, but we did it tonight. And it was fun to watch. More importantly, we had 39 assists, which is really fantastic. All in all, it was a good night for the boys.”

Guard Devin Vassell added, win or lose, it’s important the Spurs just focus on playing the right way for now.

“That’s really the Spurs way, moving the ball and getting a great shot,” he said. “That’s what we did (vs. the Magic).”

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