“The rest is going to do him some good. It gives him (a few days) off. That’s very rare you can have that time off,” Brooks said. “None of his (injury) concerns are serious, but they’re nagging things that you can play through. And we put ourselves in this position ... So that’s the only reason why he’s getting off.”
As he sat nattily attired on the bench, alongside teammates Kendrick Perkins, Kevin Martin and Nick Collison, all of whom also were held out, Durant watched his team’s second and third stringers nearly secure a victory.
But the Bucks outscored the Thunder 50-38 in the second half, closing the game on a 38-21 run over the final 15 minutes, 14 seconds.
Reggie Jackson scored a team- and career-high 23 points with six rebounds and five assists to lead the Thunder. Rookie forward Perry Jones III added a career-high 14 points and nine rebounds. Jeremy Lamb finished with 13 points in 41 minutes, both career highs. “They don’t get to play a lot … but when they get an opportunity they’ve always seemed to rise to the occasion and play well,” Brooks said of his team’s young players.
Bucks rookie forward John Henson scored 28 points with 16 rebounds, both game highs, and Brandon Jennings chipped in 17 points for Milwaukee.
Oklahoma City finished the season 60-22, and will go into this weekend’s playoffs as the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference.
The Thunder will play Game 1 of the first round Sunday inside Chesapeake Energy Arena.