Kevin Durant had an impressive first month of his rookie season. It's done little good to help the Seattle SuperSonics, however.
Days after being named the NBA's rookie of the month, Durant and the SuperSonics look to improve on their dismal start as they host the struggling Los Angeles Clippers on Wednesday.
Durant led NBA rookies in scoring for November with 20.6 points per game, but Seattle was just 3-14 for the month. The struggles continued as the Sonics (3-15) began December with a 109-96 loss to the Golden State Warriors on Sunday.
Durant had just six points on 2 of 12 shooting - the first time he was limited to single digits. He missed his first six shots and was scoreless in the first half.
"I'm learning the game," Durant told Seattle's official Web site Monday. "I'm still learning the game each and every day. ... We're getting better. I know our record doesn't show it, but we're getting better. We're working hard in practice every day."
The second overall pick in the draft had averaged 26.8 points in his previous four games before Monday's loss, and his poor shooting dropped him below 40 percent for the season.
Chris Wilcox and Earl Watson each scored 16 points for Seattle, which was denied consecutive wins for the second time overall and fell to 1-8 at KeyArena, continuing its worst-ever start at home in franchise history. The Sonics wrap up their four-game homestand Friday against Milwaukee.
Los Angeles (6-10) is hoping to snap a six-game losing streak - its longest since an eight-game skid from Feb. 4-23, 2005 - after an 87-78 loss to the Bucks on Tuesday. The Clippers built a 13-point halftime lead, but scored just four points the final 3:36 and 29 overall in the second half.
Long-term injuries to starters Elton Brand and Shaun Livingston have caused problems for the Clippers, who have lost 10 of 12 since a 4-0 start. Only four players have been able to play all 16 games thus far, forcing coach Mike Dunleavy to mix and match his lineups nearly every game.
"Certain teams have been more fortunate than others, that's for sure,'' said Dunleavy about his team's spate of injuries. "It's great to have that, because you create continuity and rotations and everything else. If the other team is healthy and we're healthy, I'll take my chances. But everybody goes through injuries at some point.''
Center Chris Kaman, one of the four Clippers to play every game thus far, had 13 points and 11 rebounds for his 12th double-double of the season. The 7-footer, who is averaging career highs of 18.3 points and 13.9 rebounds, had only 14 in 75 games in 2006-07.
Los Angeles is just 6-27 at Seattle since 1991, but has won three of its last four games at KeyArena.
Corey Maggette keyed a game-breaking run in the fourth quarter and finished with 27 points as the Clippers defeated the Sonics 115-101 on Nov. 4. Kaman added 10 points and 15 rebounds, while Durant went 10-for-19 from the field and finished with 24 points, eight rebounds and five assists.
The Clippers have won seven of the last 10 games between the teams overall.
Copyright 2007 by STATS LLC and Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and Associated Press is strictly prohibited