Saturday January 16th, 2016

Before the Oklahoma City Thunder defeated the Minnesota Timberwolves 113–93 on Friday night, Thunder forward Kevin Durant spoke about why he thinks the media is not considering his team a top playoff contender.

“Man, the [media and experts are] always trying to nitpick us,” Durant told’s Royce Young. “I mean, they don’t like us. They don’t like how Russell [Westbrook] talks to the media, they don’t like how I talk to the media. So obviously, yeah, they’re not going to give us the benefit of the doubt.”

Durant scored a game-high 21 points against the Timberwolves, and teammate Russell Westbrook posted a triple double, with 12 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists.

MAHONEY: Thunder are playing in the shadows of Spurs and Warriors

After Friday’s win, Oklahoma City is now 29–12 and sit third in the Western Conference standings behind the Golden State Warriors and San Antonio Spurs.

Russell Westbrook’s triple double shows Thunder have Finals potential

The forward went on to say that he believes the Thunder face harsher criticism because the team has had the same group of players playing together for a while.

“Some of these teams are new, except for the Spurs, who have won. But we haven’t won and we've still got the same core, so they don't expect us to win” Durant said. “It is what it is, who cares about them. They don’t mean nothing, the critics. Their opinions, everybody has one, but we don’t really care about them. Every day we’re just going to keep grinding this thing out. We feel like we can compete with anybody.”

JENKINS: Westbrook opens up: All there is to know about the star (4.06.15)

Durant, who missed seven games this season due to injuries, is averaging 26.5 points, 7.7 rebounds and 4.4 assists per game.

The Thunder will play the Miami Heat on Sunday night.

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