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Oklahoma City Thunder notebook

Published: March 8, 2009
Durant progressing from ankle injury
Kevin Durant shot jumpers before the start of Saturday’s game at New Orleans, launching shots from as deep as the 3-point line despite recovering from a sprained right ankle. It’s unclear when Durant will return, but the Thunder’s leading scorer is aiming for next Wednesday’s game at Denver.

"If not, Phoenix I think for sure,” Durant said. "Right now it’s still a little sore when I wake up in the morning. We’re trying to get that out. But as of right now it’s getting better. Only thing I can’t do is probably run as fast as I used to. I just can’t sprint. I’m jumping on it a little bit but other than that I’m alright.”

Thunder coach Scott Brooks said the team is not going to risk playing Durant until the injury is 100 percent.

Matchup with Paul a learning experience for Westbrook
Brooks said Saturday’s head-to-head matchup between Hornets point guard Chris Paul and guard Russell Westbrook was an opportunity for the Thunder’s rookie to learn from the game’s best lead guard.

"The thing I like about Chris Paul is his toughness,” Brooks said. "He really competes on both ends of the court. He gets his guys into the game, and if they’re not mentally, he tells them that they’re not in it. I think you acquire that with experience.