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The final games of 2014 in the NBA will see the return of the reigning MVP.


Oklahoma City Thunder will return Kevin Durant to the line-up later tonight when they play the Phoenix Suns.

Durant has missed the last six games with a right ankle sprain.


“I’m feeling good. I’m just ready to play,” Durant said after Wednesday’s shootaround. “I really can’t talk too much about it. I feel like I’ve been working out for five months, not really being able to play. So to get some game action will be fun.”

Durant fully practiced on Monday and Tuesday, and Thunder coach Scott Brooks said Durant looked “lively.” Durant said Wednesday he’s still feeling some soreness in the ankle but is healthy enough to go.

“I wouldn’t say I’m 100 percent, but that’s just how your body is 30 games into the season, the wear and tear of playing in the NBA,” Durant said. “But I feel great. I feel ready to play.”

Durant injured his ankle Dec. 18 against Golden State when he stepped on Marreese Speights’ foot after scoring 30 points in 18 first-half minutes and appeared to be regaining some of his MVP form.

It was only Durant’s ninth game back since undergoing surgery on his right foot to repair a Jones fracture that caused him to miss the first 17 games of the season.

“I didn’t play as well as I wanted to [when I came back],” Durant said. “But I felt like I was starting to hit my stride and feel better. But that’s a part of the game. It’s the first time it’s really hit me, the injury side of it. But I just had to stay strong and keep working and do things I had to do to get back on the floor. It was definitely tough not playing because I love to play. But I know it’s a part of the game, and I wasn’t trying to feel sorry for myself.”


He nabbed his 21st career triple-double last night and Los Angeles Lakers’ Kobe Bryant said afterwards that he WANTS to dish the ball more than shoot.

Bryant says he’ll make passes, but expects his Los Angeles Lakers teammates to knock down shots.

Via LA Times:

To score the ball takes a lot out of my legs. I’m making some adjustments,” Bryant said, crediting his recent basketball break. “Oh my gosh, yes. Absolutely. […] But also it gave me a chance to reflect. Breaking down my game. You see now I’m very, very efficient. I know exactly where I want to go. I get to my spots, I don’t try to beat guys with quickness. I back them down, I get to my areas, I elevate over them. It’s just old-school Oscar Robertson style.”

“I’m more of a natural scorer, but it doesn’t mean I can’t evolve,” Bryant said. “I played more of a point guard role on our first three championships [from 2000-02] so I’ve been taught very well how to do that. It’s not something that’s unfamiliar to me.”

He wasn’t angry at all — the Lakers had just won, 111-103 — but he firmly batted away a question about his passing vs. scoring personas. […] “I don’t know why it’s so hard for you guys to understand that. No, I really don’t,” he said. “Like, it’s fascinating to me. When [teammates] are open, they make shots, it’s easy. I sit back. When they don’t and we’re down 15 or something points, I try to get it going. Sometimes I make them. Sometimes I don’t. When I don’t, you think it’s because I’m not passing the ball. It’s really that simple. You guys have a very hard time understanding that for some reason.”


And here is Kobe’s 23 points, 11 rebounds and 11 assists against the Denver Nuggets.