Streaking Thunder star Durant sits out vs Celtics
BOSTON (AP) Oklahoma City forward Kevin Durant, the NBA’s leading scorer, was scratched from Friday night’s lineup against the Boston Celtics because of a right shoulder injury.
Thunder coach Scott Brooks said before the game he did not know how long Durant would be out.
”He’s not one that looks forward to missing games,” Brooks said. ”But it’s the best thing for him. Until he’s ready to play, he’s not going to play. Regardless of how he feels and what he wants to do. ”
The Thunder are already without guard Russell Westbrook, who has been out since Christmas with a torn meniscus in his right knee. They entered the night with the best record in the Western Conference, one-half game ahead of the San Antonio Spurs.
It’s the first time since the franchise moved to Oklahoma City in 2008 that it has taken the floor with neither Westbrook nor Durant.
”We have options. We have a good team,” Brooks said. ”There’s no question we’re really good with Kevin and Russell, but we still have a good team. Guys have done a great job all year long putting us in position to win games. I don’t see anything different tonight.”
Durant is averaging 31 points per game, and he has scored at least 30 points in nine consecutive games. Perry Jones, who averages 3.2 points and 10.7 minutes per game, took his place in the starting lineup.
”You never want to be without your players,” Brooks said before the game. ”You want your entire roster, to give yourself the best chance. But we have more than enough to compete.”