A limited number of tickets for the Thunder's first-round playoff series will go on sale at 10 a.m. Thursday and can be purchased at https://www.thunder.nba.com. Oklahoma City will play either the Los Angeles Lakers or Houston Rockets. Game 1 is scheduled Sunday at Chesapeake Energy Arena. The game time will be announced later.
Here's how crazy a night it was for OKC's substitutions. With 4:42 left in the first quarter, 6-foot-3 guard Reggie Jackson entered the game for 7-foot-3 center Hasheem Thabeet.
Several Thunder reserves obliterated previous career highs in minutes and points. Jeremy Lamb played 41 minutes and had 13 points and seven rebounds, all career highs. Jackson had career highs with 36 minutes and 23 points. Perry Jones III had career highs with 39 minutes, 14 points and nine rebounds.
DURANT'S REIGN AS SCORING CHAMP ENDS
Kevin Durant's run of three straight NBA scoring titles ended Wednesday morning when he revealed he would sit out that night's game against the Milwaukee Bucks at Chesapeake Energy Arena.
It was a long shot anyway for Durant, who would have had to score 70 points to recapture the lead over new champion Carmelo Anthony of the New York Knicks.
“I definitely did not want to sit out, but medical staff and coaches thought it'd be a good idea,” Durant said after Wednesday's shootaround. “It would have been fun to try and get it. I don't know if I would have — 70s a lot of points. Who knows? That'd have been cool.”
Fellow starters Russell Westbrook, Thabo Sefolosha and Serge Ibaka saw limited action Wednesday night as OKC lost 95-89 to finish the regular season with a 60-22 record overall and 34-7 at home.
How close did the scoring race have to be for Brooks to have given Durant his normal minutes in Wednesday's finale?
“That's a great question,” Thunder coach Scott Brooks said, not providing an answer.
In addition to Durant sitting out the game, Thunder starting center Kendrick Perkins and sixth man Kevin Martin (lower back spasms) missed their third straight game, while reserve forward Nick Collison (rest) also sat.
Former Edmond Santa Fe standout Ekpe Udoh started at forward for the Bucks in place of Ersan Ilyasova (wrist). Milwaukee Larry Sanders (sore lower back) did not play.
HAVE A SEAT
Since Brooks decided to sit his top seven players Wednesday, he kiddingly was asked if he gave any consideration to sitting out the game and allowing assistant Maurice Cheeks to fill in as coach.
“Some people think I do that already,” Brooks joked. “I just sit there.”
Durant laughed when it playfully was suggested Westbrook could have had 30 assists had Durant scored 70 points against the Bucks to win his fourth straight scoring title: “Ya'll just putting stats on us like we're video games.”
OKC's third straight Northwest Division Champions banner was unfurled in the rafters during pregame introductions. … Perkins gave a brief pregame speech, but twice had to wait for the thunderous ovation to quiet down before he could be heard. … OKC had six dunks in the first quarter and led 30-21. … When Jones checked into the game late in the second quarter, he forgot to take off his warm-up top. … The Thunder shot 58.3 percent from the field in the first quarter, but 35.4 percent thereafter to finish at 41.6 percent. … OKC's initial lineup jumped out to a 22-10 lead in the first 7½ minutes, but its reserves were outscored 85-67 the rest of the way.
BY JOHN ROHDE