In case he wasn't already a lock to win NBA Rookie of the Year honors, Kevin Durant seems to be making sure there is no doubt.

Durant looks to continue his improved shot selection Friday when his Seattle SuperSonics host a Charlotte Bobcats team coming off one of its most impressive wins of the season.

This game begins a few hours after the team with which Durant spent last season plays in the NCAA tournament's regional semifinals. Following a standout freshman year at Texas, which plays Stanford earlier on Friday night, Durant has spent virtually all of this season as the clear-cut favorite to be named the NBA's top rookie.

The second overall pick in last summer's draft is averaging a team-high 19.8 points - nearly eight more than any other rookie - and tops all first-year players in free-throw shooting at 87.3 percent.

However, the 19-year-old swingman has been much better recently taking the right shots as opposed to wildly firing. Durant has not attempted more than two 3-pointers in any of the last 20 games after averaging 3.4 attempts before the All-Star break and making just 28.2 percent (48-of-170).

"He's been doing a better job of going to the basket and getting to the free-throw line, recognizing what's a good shot and what's not a good shot," Sonics coach P.J. Carlesimo said.

Carlesimo said before Wednesday's game against Washington that "there is not one iota of doubt" Durant should be the NBA's Rookie of the Year. He went on to top 30 points for the fourth time this season, scoring 32 in a 104-99 defeat.

Durant has scored at least 20 points in four consecutive games, shooting 58.8 percent from the field and 16-of-17 at the foul line.

He has averaged 22.0 points over the last 15 games while shooting 53.3 percent, compared to 19.2 points and 39.8 percent through his first 55 games.

"My teammates are getting me the ball in position to score in transition," Durant said. "I just have to do my part by finishing."

The team's second-leading scorer, Chris Wilcox, learned Thursday he will have to sit out the rest of the season due to a dislocated finger. Wilcox, who has missed Seattle's last four games, was averaging 13.4 points and 7.0 rebounds.

Even a healthy Wilcox and a maturing Durant did not lead to many victories, however, with the Sonics (17-55) having lost 12 of 13 and owning the worst record in the Western Conference.

The Bobcats (26-45) are among the worst teams in the East, but they beat one of the best in the West on the road Wednesday as they defeated the Los Angeles Lakers 108-95.

"I thought from the beginning of the game, the guys had a real sharp focus to come in here and play hard for 48 minutes, offensively and defensively, and it was a focus sometimes we have and more often than not, we don't have," coach Sam Vincent said. "The game just turned out our way tonight."

Jason Richardson scored 34 points and is averaging 25.6 over his last 14 games.

Wednesday's win was the second in three games for Charlotte following a five-game skid, and it snapped a six-game road losing streak.

In the only meeting this season, the Bobcats beat the Sonics 100-84 on Nov. 17 as they held Durant to 16 points. Charlotte, though, has never won in three visits to Seattle.

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