By DAVID MCCLURKIN — News Desk WriterAt the start of the year, Sonics coach Kevin Durant and his team were a group of young players who knew what it meant to be a superstar.
They had a collective mindset, a shared sense of urgency and purpose.
And so, when Durant missed the final preseason game with a sprained left ankle, the team was left wondering what the future held.
And so they got creative.
They got creative with their players.
They gave them a new look.
And while it may not have been easy, it wasn’t an easy season.
Durant scored 33 points on 13-of-20 shooting in a loss to the Warriors in the first round of the playoffs, but he also finished with 10 rebounds, five assists and four blocks.
And while he didn’t play as well in the second half, the young team got the better of the Warriors, leading by as many as 20 points.
Sonics coach Danny Ferry said it was his biggest offseason decision of his career.
He said he wasn’t thinking about the future.
Instead, he was focused on how he could improve his team and give them the best chance of winning the NBA title.
And this season, that has been one of the most successful and rewarding he has ever been part of.
Sonices win streak endedSonics win streak officially ended in the fourth quarter of a 99-96 loss to Cleveland on Monday night.
Durant missed seven of the final 10 games, but it was the Warriors who made the most of their two minutes off the bench.
Durant had a career-high 25 points on 10-of.
12 shooting in 27 minutes.
His first three baskets were the last in the game.
Sonics guard Aaron Brooks had 12 points and six rebounds.
The Sonics were 4 for 16 from 3-point range.
Sonicoin players were a mix of young and veteran, and they gave them the confidence and drive to win.
Sonics starters have averaged 28.3 points and 5.6 assists in the last two games, a mark they’re averaging in just four games since the start the season.
Sonicains players have also been a big part of the team’s turnaround, with coach Danny Miles saying he feels like he’s in a “tougher, resilient, resilient group.”
Sonics have won five straight games for the first time since the playoffs started.
They’ll look to end the streak Saturday night against the Boston Celtics, who were 10 for 21 from 3 and lost their third straight game.
Sonic players said they were happy to get back to playing for Coach Miles after a two-month absence due to a knee injury.
They said they knew the road ahead of them was long, but the way they played last night was one of their biggest wins of the season so far.
They also said they want to win another game this season.
“This is one of those teams where you know you can be the team to get them to the playoffs,” Brooks said.
“We have the ability to get in that conversation and I think we can be a really good team to build on.”
Sonic fans have been waiting for a season where Durant, Brooks and Hayward can all come together.
Soniciins players were so eager to prove that point in their first preseason game.
“The most important thing is getting a win,” Brooks told reporters.
“That’s all we want, that’s all you want.”