With All-Star forward Kevin Durant sitting out Friday night against the Boston Celtics, the Oklahoma City Thunder will play a game for the first time since 2008, when the franchise relocated from Seattle, without either Durant or point guard Russell Westbrook in the lineup.
Durant, who is leading the NBA in scoring at 31 points a game after a run of nine consecutive games with at least 30 points, injured his right shoulder when he was fouled trying to dunk against San Antonio on Wednesday night in a 111-105 victory that moved the Thunder (33-10) ahead of the Spurs (32-10) in the standings.
Coach Scott Brooks said before the game that there was no timetable for Durant's return and that "it's the best thing for him." Brooks added, "Until he's ready to play, he's not going to play. Regardless of how he feels and what he wants to do."
Brooks also said he believes the Thunder can be competitive without its top two players.
"You never want to be without your players,” Brooks said. "You want your entire roster, to give yourself the best chance. But we have more than enough to compete.
"We have options. We have a good team," the coach 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."
[Update, 7 p.m.: The Thunder defeated the Celtics, 101-83, on Friday night. Power forward Serge Ibaka had 21 points and seven rebounds to lead Oklahoma City to the victory. Jeremy Lamb contributed 19 points and six rebounds off the bench.]
ALSO:Copyright © 2015, Los Angeles Times