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Monday, March 04, 2024
<p>Oklahoma City Thunder head coach Billy Donovan talks to his players during the first half of an NBA basketball game against the San Antonio Spurs, Tuesday, April 12, 2016, in San Antonio. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)</p>

Oklahoma City Thunder head coach Billy Donovan talks to his players during the first half of an NBA basketball game against the San Antonio Spurs, Tuesday, April 12, 2016, in San Antonio. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

Billy Donovan’s first regular season is over, and while his Oklahoma City team has been overshadowed by the outlandish seasons of Golden State and San Antonio, he has had a record-breaking year himself.

The Thunder earned the third seed in the Western Conference with a 55-win season, making Donovan the winningest rookie coach to come straight from college to the NBA in league history. He passed Butch van Breda Kolff, who won 52 games in the 1967-68 season with the Lakers after leaving Princeton.

His point guard has also had a record-setting year. Russell Westbrook tied Magic Johnson’s mark of 18 triple-doubles in a season on Monday night, which is a record for the most since the NBA/ABA merger.

Bradley Beal, Wizards end underwhelming season

Washington guard Bradley Beal finished the 2015-16 season on a disappointing note, sitting out Wednesday’s season finale with a pelvis injury — a theme for Beal this year.

The guard played in just 55 games while dealing with multiple injuries, and the Wizards suffered along with him, missing the playoffs in a year they were expected to be a force in the Eastern Conference.

The unhealthy campaign for Beal doesn’t help his stock going into an offseason in which he will be a restricted free agent.

Houston Rockets, Corey Brewer lock up final playoff spot

Corey Brewer managed just two points in 18 minutes in Houston’s final game of the season against Sacramento, but a 116-81 victory clinched the Rockets the last spot in the Western Conference playoffs.

The season was supposed to be one of title contention for Houston, but the team never gelled, struggling before and after the firing of coach Kevin McHale.

Brewer and company will be faced with the unenviable task of getting the first crack at the Warriors in the first round of the playoffs, where Brewer will face fellow former Gator Marreese Speights.

Al Horford, Atlanta Hawks lose earn home-court

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Despite Al Horford’s 19 points and eight rebounds, the Hawks fell 109-98 on the final night of the season. However, the team still clinched home-court advantage in the first round of the playoffs and will host the Boston Celtics.

Horford will be looking to use his 15.2 points, 7.3 rebounds, 3.2 assists and 1.5 blocks per game average this season to help lead the Hawks back to the conference finals for a second-consecutive campaign.

Contact Graham Hack at ghack@alligator.org and you can follow him on Twitter @graham_hack24

Oklahoma City Thunder head coach Billy Donovan talks to his players during the first half of an NBA basketball game against the San Antonio Spurs, Tuesday, April 12, 2016, in San Antonio. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

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