Russell Westbrook missed the Thunder’s game against Denver on Monday night.
But in line with the team’s recent rest one, play one back-to-back formula, Westbrook will return to lineup on Tuesday at Dallas.
“Not saying going forward, we have to stick to our plan, but we’ve been good with it,” coach Scott Brooks said.
SEFOLOSHA, PERKINS MAKING PROGRESS
Both Thabo Sefolosha and Kendrick Perkins continue to make progress in their recovery, according to Brooks, but a return date for either remains unknown.
“They’re definitely getting closer,” Brooks said. “They’ve had some court time, not practice time, but some individual work.”
Brooks said he didn’t know which of the two was closer to returning. Sefolosha is out with a calf strain, Perkins with a groin strain.
THABEET MISSES DENVER GAME
Thunder back-up center Hasheem Thabeet wasn’t with the team on Monday. He is on an excused absence for personal reasons.
Thabeet is not expected to return until after the Mavericks game on Tuesday, leaving the Thunder with Steven Adams as its only healthy center.
At Thunder shootaround on Monday morning, the team was still abuzz over what was a wild win in Toronto on Friday night.
And Kevin Durant, given some time to reflect, said it was one of his favorite regular season games ever. And one of his best individual performances, too — a 51-point outburst that included three 3s in the final 40 seconds of double overtime to erase an 8-point deficit.
“I got 63 text messages when I got back to my phone after the game,” Durant said. “It’s good, a lot of people say it’s just regular season, but it’s pretty special.”
Durant even ranked the performance above his career-high 54-point showing against Golden State earlier this season and said his teammates presented him with a game ball when it was over.
KD NOT INTO JESUS COMPARISONS
Following Durant’s legendary showing, Raptors guard Greivis Vasquez called him the NBA’s Jesus, a comparison Durant was flattered by, but shot down.
“Try to compare me to that guy, it’s going to be tough to matchup,” Durant said. “Greatest man to ever walk the Earth. It’s gonna be tough to match up with that. I’m nowhere near Jesus in this league. I’d fail miserably if I tried to stack up to that guy. I like being KD.”
NBA legend Magic Johnson on SportsCenter: “The MVP race is definitely over. Kevin Durant is the MVP.”