Thunder star Kevin Durant will not play tonight against Orlando at the Ford Center. Durant suffered a sprained ankle when he landed on a player’s foot while grabbing a rebound in the second quarter Monday night at Indiana. He played through the injury to score a season-high 37 points.
“I played off adrenaline,” Durant said. “But once I sat on the bench, and got in the locker room, it would be kind of stiff when I got back up.”
Durant, last year’s Rookie of the Year, is averaging 22.0 points and 4.6 rebounds. He hoped practicing light on Tuesday would allow him to play against the Magic. Instead, he decided two more days rest should allow him to play this weekend on an East Coast road trip to New York and Philadelphia.
“Most definitely,” Durant said. “Another day’s rest should definitely get me back for the next game.”
Former Oklahoma State star Desmond Mason started at small forward with Jeff Green moving to shooting guard. Coach P.J. Carlesimo planned to give Damien Wilkins double digit minutes and indicated both points guards, Earl Watson and Russell Westbrook, would be on the floor together more.
“The other guys get a chance to shoulder the load,” Carlesimo said. “It’s an opportunity for Jeff to step up and get more shots. Things sometimes work out... Our guys will step up. Do I like playing without Kevin? No. But we have some other people.
“It’s still a team game. If we play well defensively, particularly get out and play their 3-point shooters, then we’ll be there (in the game). We’re playing at home so we have to take advantage of that.”