Kevin Martin was held out of Thursday's 99-93 loss at Minnesota because of a right quad contusion, and without its sixth man the Thunder's bench struggled mightily.
Martin injured his leg late in the game at Atlanta on Wednesday and was visibly in discomfort after the game. Thunder coach Scott Brooks, however, announced before the Wolves game that Martin would be unavailable.
Martin said the injury is not believed to be severe and added he hopes to play at Miami in the Thunder's matchup against the Heat on Christmas.
Without Martin, the Thunder's bench was outscored 22-7 against the Wolves. The Thunder's subs combined to shoot 3-for-9 from the field, while securing just seven rebounds, zero assists and committed three turnovers and seven fouls.
WESTBROOK EXPRESSES INTEREST IN DUNK CONTEST
The slam dunk contest at this year's NBA All-Star Weekend could have one of the game's most explosive athletes participating.
Russell Westbrook on Thursday expressed his interest in someday joining the field but said he wasn't sure if he will participate in Houston this year.
“It's up in the air,” Westbrook said about this year's dunk competition. “I would (like to) before it's too late. But I don't know where I'm going to feel like doing it or not.”
Westbrook, as he has in the past, insisted that he is more of a “game dunker” rather than a dunk contest dunker. Typically, that means a player impresses more with power and by posterizing opposing players as opposed to planning out dunks weeks, if not months, in advance.
“It's so many people in this league that jump so much higher than I do, everybody else can do it,” said Westbrook, clearly being modest. “It's a lot of people that can jump. I only can jump high in the games. That's it. I think if it's just regular people would be disappointed.”
Westbrook, however, said he does have a few tricks up his sleeve.
“I got a few dunks, but it ain't nothing that you ain't seen before,” he said. “These dunk contests you've got to dunk on three baskets, do cartwheels and do something to get points. But I don't know, man.”
JACKSON TAKES BLAME FOR BAREA'S HOT STREAK
Brooks opted to play second-year guard Reggie Jackson 24 minutes, 30 seconds against the Wolves.
Jackson contributed four points, two rebounds and one blocked shot while turning the ball over once and committing five fouls.
But the most glaring thing about Jackson's court time was his fourth-quarter stint in which he was assigned to J.J. Barea, who scored 14 of his 18 points in the final period.
“I let J.J. Barea get going, so I think I failed definitely on the defensive end,” Jackson said. “I tried to impact the ball the best I could, but he got hot. He's a good player, and I think they were just making some shots tonight.”
Westbrook refused to put the blame on Jackson.
“It's not his fault,” Westbrook said. “It's not his fault at all. It's the team's fault. As a team, we've got to be able to take ownership of that.”
By Darnell Mayberry