Kevin Durant says he does not care about NBA scoring streak

Here’s the Oklahoman reporting on Thunder star Kevin Durant, who is averaging 32.1 points, 7.6 rebounds, 5.6 assists, 1.3 steals per game on 50.7% shooting this season. And he has an amazing scoring streak that just won’t stop:

Kevin Durant didn’t just downplay his 25-point scoring streak after moving past Michael Jordan for sole possession of third place on the all-time list.

He flat out dismissed it.

“I don’t really care about it,” Durant said after his 38 points and 11 rebounds Sunday at Phoenix. “I wish it was over.”

Durant has scored at least 25 points in 41 consecutive games. Wilt Chamberlain owns the single-season record at 80 games in the 1961-62 season. Oscar Robertson is second with 46 straight 25-point nights in the 1963-64 season.

Durant might wish the streak was over — if you’re buying that— but opponents could have a tougher time than you might think in stopping it.

Gregg Popovich wants increased playoff role for Kawhi Leonard

Here’s the San Antonio Express-News reporting on the Spurs and small forward Kawhi Leonard:

Gregg Popovich wants increased playoff role for Kawhi Leonard

It was a comment Spurs fans have been clamoring to hear since, oh, about five games into Kawhi Leonard’s rookie season. Gregg Popovich, speaking last Sunday before Leonard would enjoy perhaps the best game of his young career, is finally ready to unleash his third-year small forward.

“We want to up his minutes,” Popovich said. “He’s going to play more minutes (in the playoffs) than Tim Duncan does probably, more minutes than Manu Ginobili probably. This is his stretch run and he needs to be in shape for it. He’s never really been able to do this because it was a lockout season or we had to limit his minutes last year. This is the first time he’s been able to lay it out there.”

And did Leonard ever lay it out there against the Grizzlies, sinking 12 of 13 shots en route to a career-high-tying 26 points. He earned a game score — a kind of single-serve efficiency measure — of 24.7 at, the highest in any his 219 NBA contests including the postseason.

Alonzo Mourning humbled to make Basketball Hall of Fame

Here’s the Miami Herald reporting on retired NBA center Alonzo Mourning, who will be inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame this August:

Alonzo Mourning humbled to make Hall of Fame

The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame made official Monday what has been known for days: Alonzo Mourning will be among those inducted in the 2014 class, in a ceremony scheduled for August in Springfield, Mass.

Mourning becomes the second Heat player to be inducted into the Hall, joining Gary Payton.

“I’m humbled and I’m truly honored,” Mourning said. “I’m very, very grateful. … If my life ended today, I’ve lived a storybook life.”

Mourning credited his family, Heat president Pat Riley and former Georgetown coach John Thompson, “who helped contribute so much to my life, not just as an athlete, but as a person. Big John taught me more about life than he did about basketball.”

Mourning said it “would only be fitting” if two people – presumably Riley and Thompson – are part of presenting him during his induction, adding it would be difficult to pick one over the other.

Timberwolves sign guard Othyus Jeffers

Timberwolves sign guard Othyus Jeffers

The Minnesota Timberwolves today announced that the team has signed guard Othyus Jeffers for the remainder of the 2013-14 regular season. The Wolves roster now stands at 15.

Jeffers, a 6-5 guard, appeared in six preseason games with the Wolves this season, averaging 4.3 points and 3.5 rebounds in 14.3 minutes per game. He spent most of this season playing with the Iowa Energy in the NBA D-League, averaging 20.9 points and 9.9 rebounds in 37.7 minutes per game. He was signed to a 10-day contract by the San Antonio Spurs on January 24, appearing in four games and averaging 1.8 points and 1.5 rebounds per game.

Minnesota is Jeffers’ fourth stop in the NBA, previously having two separate stints with San Antonio and one with both Utah and Washington. The 28-year-old out of Robert Morris University holds career averages of 3.9 points and 2.6 rebounds per game in 35 career games.

Jeffers will wear No. 0 and is expected to be in uniform tonight when the Wolves take on San Antonio.