Top-seeded Thunder close season with Bucks in town
(Sports Network) - The Oklahoma City Thunder have secured the top seed in the Western Conference and may rest some regulars Wednesday night when the put the cap on the regular season with a home game against the Milwaukee Bucks.
The Thunder defeated the Sacramento Kings on Monday night, and when the San Antonio Spurs lost on the road to the Golden State Warriors the same night, OKC became the No. 1 seed for the first time.
"We've come a long ways through the hard work our entire organization has put in," head coach Scott Brooks said. "It's always about the team first, and we have many members of the team that are so important. It's not just about the players, but it's our staff and everyone in our building. The business and training site are committed to getting there every day, and it's paid off. Sixty wins is a quite an accomplishment and not many teams get that."
The Thunder don't know yet who they'll face in the postseason. The Los Angeles Lakers are currently eighth, but the Houston Rockets could slip down a notch, or the Utah Jazz could go past the Lakers into eighth.
Kevin Durant led the way with 29 points against the Kings, but he trails the New York Knicks' Carmelo Anthony for the scoring title, 28.7 - 28.1 ppg. Durant won the scoring title the previous three seasons and won't play on Wednesday, thus handing the honor to Anthony.
Russell Westbrook scored 21 points, followed by 14 from Serge Ibaka. Daniel Orton and Reggie Jackson got more minutes on Monday night and each netted 10 points.
The Bucks are headed to the postseason. They will be the eighth seed in the Eastern Conference and face the Miami Heat. That's a tall task on a good day, but the Bucks have been brutal lately.
Milwaukee has lost five consecutive games and seven of its last eight. The Bucks have dropped nine straight on the road and fell at home on Monday night to the Denver Nuggets, 112-111. Ty Lawson hit a runner with less than 10 seconds on the clock to give the Nuggets the victory.
"We're trying to gain some momentum," said Bucks interim coach Jim Boylan. "Our guys battled so I'm not hanging my head here today."
Monta Ellis was dazzling on Monday with 38 points on 14-for-25 shooting, including 6-for-11 from long distance. J.J. Redick added 20 off the bench and Ersan Ilyasova and John Henson both had double-doubles. Mike Dunleavy and Beno Udrih each scored 10 in a reserve role.
Larry Sanders missed the Denver game with a sore back.
The Thunder have won two straight over the Bucks, but Milwaukee has taken two of its last three in Oklahoma City.
04/17 11:14:47 ET