Thabo Sefolosha, who missed his 10th straight game Wednesday with what the Thunder is calling foot soreness, saw a foot specialist on Wednesday to get a second opinion on the injury that has kept him sidelined.
The diagnosis was no different.
But it was, however, determined that Sefolosha, who has been listed as day-to-day, will now wear a protective boot to aid and perhaps speed the recovery process. The goal is to immobilize Sefolosha's foot and maximize the rest that he is being given by the team's medical and training staffs.
There is no new timeline for Sefolosha's return.
With a steady stream of games in a lockout-shortened season, the Thunder is proceeding with caution and allowing Sefolosha to heal as much as possible before bringing him back. But no one is quite sure when that might be. The alternative would be yo-yoing Sefolosha in and out of the lineup as symptoms potentially flare up. It's a situation the team is trying to avoid, as it would tamper with lineups and chemistry.
Thunder point guard Russell Westbrook is in elite company with Oscar Robertson and Magic Johnson as the only players to collect 5,000 points, 1,900 assists and 1,300 rebounds in their first 274 games. But there's no telling where Westbrook's numbers will end up.
“Russell's a good player. He has a lot of talent. He works hard to get better,” OKC coach Scott Brooks said. “He knows he has to continue to get better. We don't know how good he's going to be. We've never ever said, ‘OK, this is where you're going to level off.' We don't know that. We just know that he has a lot of talent and he works extremely hard every day. He's been great to coach.”
JUST WIN, BABY
Though he is one of the most team-oriented players in the game, three-time All-Star and two-time NBA scoring champ Kevin Durant sheepishly admits he peruses the annual list of scoring leaders to see how he stacks up.
Westbrook can fill a stat sheet as well as any player in the league, but insists he doesn't look at one particular category when reviewing a Thunder box score.
“Just the score to see if we won,” said Westbrook, a two-time All-Star. “To be an elite point guard in the league, you've got to be able to get wins. That's the way I think is the best way to do it.”
Since Brooks made Westbrook a starter on Nov. 29, 2008, at Memphis, the Thunder had an overall record of 149-108 (.580) in Westbrook's 257 consecutive starts entering Wednesday night's game at Houston.
“Whatever it is we need to do to win, that's what I try to do at the time,” Westbrook said. “There's a lot of stuff I can do better at. I just try to do what he (Brooks) asks.”
The Thunder's next five games will be played inside Chesapeake Energy Arena … In a rare move, Brooks started the second quarter with Royal Ivey, who had appeared in only five games before Wednesday … One night after registering a career-high eight assists, rookie point guard Reggie Jackson recorded four assists against Houston … The Thunder finished with 22 turnovers, which led to 26 Rockets points. Brooks said before the game he would like to see his team stay around 14 turnovers … Former OU star and current Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson was in attendance Wednesday … Kendrick Perkins was whistled for his 10th technical foul of the season when his arms locked up with Luis Scola's while challenging a shot through the whistle. It's likely that the technical foul will be rescinded. If not, Perkins will receive an automatic one-game suspension after three more technical fouls … Westbrook was also called for a technical foul with 1:57 left to play. He got a double technical with Rockets center Samuel Dalembert.
TNT analyst Steve Kerr on what the Thunder needs to improve upon: “OKC is the best team in the West. I worry about fourth quarter execution. They are a little bit like Miami West. They overwhelm you with talent and the ability to beat you off the dribble. But in the playoffs, can they execute when a team stays in front of them and slows the game down? Can they get easy baskets? They are the most talented team, so we'll see.”