Oklahoma City Thunder: Thabo Sefolosha, James Harden might return Sunday

Thunder will take on Denver Nuggets at 7 p.m. Sunday at Chesapeake Energy Arena.
By John Rohde Published: October 19, 2012
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photo - Thunder fan favorite James Harden didn't play at all, and is shown here on the bench in the second half of their exhibition game at the BOK Center in Tulsa, OK, Oct; 19, 2012. MICHAEL WYKE/Tulsa World
Thunder fan favorite James Harden didn't play at all, and is shown here on the bench in the second half of their exhibition game at the BOK Center in Tulsa, OK, Oct; 19, 2012. MICHAEL WYKE/Tulsa World

Thunder starters Kendrick Perkins (left wrist) and Thabo Sefolosha (deep thigh bruise) have yet to play in a preseason game, although Sefolosha participated in Thursday night's Blue and White scrimmage.

Sixth Man James Harden (groin) also sat out of Friday night's 107-97 victory over the Phoenix Suns at the BOK Center in Tulsa, as did rookie forward Perry Jones III (sore right knee).

After Friday morning's shootaround, Oklahoma City coach Scott Brooks insinuated Sefolosha, Harden and Jones might be healthy enough to play in Sunday's 7 p.m. game against Denver at Chesapeake Energy Arena.

Others who did not play Friday were Lazar Hayward, Daniel Orton, Andy Rautins, Walker Russell and Hollis Thompson.

ON DEAF EARS

With 9:41 left in the fourth quarter, the sellout crowd began to chant “We want Har-den.”

Harden stood up briefly, smiled, then sat back down.

Fans began the chant several more times, and booed when their wish was not granted.

“Ladies, kids and babies were booing me,” Brooks said jokingly. “I want him in there as much as they want him in there. We want to make sure guys are 100 percent ready to play, but it was not fun being booed. I used to like Tulsa, too.”

DISAGREEMENTS

There were two on-count confrontations that resulted in technical fouls.

With 6:22 left in the second quarter, Phoenix center Jermaine O'Neal and Thunder center Hasheem Thabeet were in a brief altercation. O'Neal was called for a foul, and both players were assessed technicals.