Forward Serge Ibaka and guard Thabo Sefolosha became the first Thunder starters to not be in the lineup this season and both did not play in Sunday night's 87-83 victory over the Portland Trail Blazers at the Rose Garden.
Ibaka suffered a contusion on the left side of his chest in the third quarter of Friday night's 116-101 victory over the Los Angeles Lakers at Staples Center. Sefolosha was sidelined with a sore neck.
The status of both players for Monday night's game at Phoenix was uncertain.
Before Sunday, the Thunder had been the only team in the NBA to use the same starting lineup every game this season.
Veteran Nick Collison replaced Ibaka and DeAndre Liggins, who began this season with a triple-double playing for the Tulsa 66ers in the Developmental League, replaced Sefolosha.
It was Collison's 170th start in nine seasons and the first start in 31 career games for Liggins, a second-year player from Kentucky known for his defensive prowess.
Incredibly, Liggins played more minutes (40) than anybody on the OKC roster and nearly had a double-double. He finished with 11 points and nine rebounds.
Despite missing his first start since Feb. 23, 2011 — the day before Jeff Green and Nenad Krstic were traded to Boston in exchange for Kendrick Perkins and Nate Robinson — Ibaka was still upbeat one hour before Sunday's game.
Continue reading this story on the...