Kevin Durant is fifth among Western Conference forwards in the most recent All-Star balloting released Thursday. Durant has received 474,506 votes, nearly 1 million behind Carmelo Anthony. Dirk Nowitzki is second (753,971) followed by Tim Duncan (685,390) and Pau Gasol (667,767).
Kobe Bryant is the leading vote-getter with 1.6 million votes.
Starters will be announced Jan. 21. A long shot to start, Durant is considered by most to be a lock to be named a reserve. The All-Star Game is Feb. 14 in Dallas.
It’s way too early to place much stock in tie-breakers. But they can be critical in April. Having already won in Salt Lake City, the Thunder was trying to get a leg up on the Jazz. Houston players referenced it when the Rockets clinched the season series recently, having won all three meetings against Oklahoma City.
OKC’s head-to-head record against other Western Conference playoff contenders: Utah (2-0); Phoenix (1-0); San Antonio (1-0); Sacramento (1-1); LA Clippers (1-1); Houston (0-3).
With the Tulsa 66ers’ next game not until Saturday, forward D.J. White
returned to Oklahoma City to work out with the team’s training staff Thursday. White attended the Utah game but hasn’t been recalled from the 66ers.
White, who Brooks wants to see improve his rebounding, scoring and interior defense, said the D-League provides a good environment to work on his game. White has averaged 20.5 points, nine rebounds and two blocks in two games.
"It’s good to get on the court and get up and down against competition,” White said.