OKLAHOMA CITY – Basketball didn’t matter much to Kevin Durant on Thursday night.
Thunder assistant coach Monty Williams’ wife, Ingrid, was involved in a car crash Tuesday night in Oklahoma City and died Wednesday. Monty Williams coached the Pelicans last season before coming to Oklahoma City to help new coach Billy Donovan, so as his two most recent teams met, both played with heavy hearts.
A moment of silence was observed before the Thunder’s 121-95 victory.
Durant was distraught earlier in the day while discussing the situation after Oklahoma City’s shootaround, and he said it remained fresh in his mind after the game.
“We love the game so much, but that’s not really what’s important,” Durant said. “It’s definitely something that we love to do, but relationships, family — those things — that’s what’s most important in life, not the latest trends or the fashion world or all that stuff. It’s cool and all that stuff, but the stuff that lasts forever is relationships, family and love.”
Donovan wasn’t sure how his team would deal with all that happened. Durant scored 23 points, Russell Westbrook had 23 points, 10 assists and nine rebounds, and Serge Ibaka added 18 points.
“I really appreciated all of our guys, the way they all have handled a really difficult situation these past 24 hours and being able to go out and play,” Donovan said.
Anthony Davis and Jrue Holiday each scored 23 points for New Orleans. Davis, who was emotional on Twitter after learning of the death, was still disappointed in the way the Pelicans played.
“We’ve got to go out there and still compete,” he said. “Go out there and play. We had a job to do tonight.”
Bucks 99, Wizards 92
In Milwaukee, Khris Middleton scored 27 points, Giannis Antetokounmpo had 17 points and 13 rebounds, and the Bucks held off Washington.
Middleton answered again, hitting a jumper in the lane on the next possession before setting up a drive-and-dish to Greg Monroe that gave Milwaukee a 97-90 lead with 15 seconds left. Middleton tied a season high with nine assists.
Bradley Beal scored 19 points for the Wizards, and John Wall had 15 points and 10 assists.