It appears Russell Westbrook's streak of consecutive games played will remain alive.
The Thunder point guard rolled his right ankle late in the third quarter Friday against Golden State and did not return after being taken to the locker room. Westbrook was scheduled to be re-evaluated Saturday at practice. He said he participated in shooting drills and weight lifting, but Thunder coach Scott Brooks said Westbrook did not go through the light practice.
Westbrook, however, said he will play. If he does, he will bump his consecutive games played streak to 277. He has not missed a game since being drafted. It will be his 260th straight start, dating to his first career start on Nov. 29, 2008, 18 games into his rookie season.
“I try to come in every day and try to take care of my body to where I can get an opportunity to come out every night and play at a high level,” Westbrook said. “It's tough sometimes. But that's the nature of the game. And I take pride in coming in and trying to take care of myself and being ready to play.”
Thunder coach Scott Brooks praised Westbrook's will to win and credited that for his streak.
“That's very important. You have to want to play,” Brooks said. “With a lot of guys, that is not as high as it needs to be in this league. But Russell wants to play
“He's never missed a game and that's pretty impressive because there are a lot of times where he puts himself in a tough position the way he attacks and the way he goes at the opponent. But he's always there for us the next game … He always bounces back from bumps and bruises as well as anybody I've been around.”
LAZAR HAYWARD HAS ORBITAL FRACTURE
Reserve forward Lazar Hayward has an orbital floor fracture and will miss at least a week. He will be re-evaluated after the All-Star break next weekend.
Hayward sustained the injury with a little more than a minute remaining in Friday's game. He said he was inadvertently poked in the eye by a Warriors player while trying to recover a loose ball.
“It's unfortunate that it happened,” Brooks said. “But he'll be back soon.”
DURANT DISCUSSING TEAM IN SEATTLE
With a proposal in place for a new arena in Seattle, there is mounting hope if not momentum in the NBA's possible return to the city.
Kevin Durant, who spent his rookie season with the Sonics, said he hopes the city does get a replacement team soon.
“It's good for the fans of Seattle,” said Durant, who joins Nick Collison as the last remaining members of the Thunder to have played in Seattle. “Just being there, I know how passionate they are about the game of basketball, and to not have an NBA team there is tough for them. So hopefully, that gets resolved soon.”