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Kevin Durant out with injury, putting Oklahoma City Thunder in uncharted territory

Jan 24, 2014, 7:13 PM EDT

Kevin Durant

BOSTON – For the first time in the 492-game history of the Oklahoma City Thunder, they will play without Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook.

With Westbrook already sidelined with a knee injury, a sore shoulder will prevent Durant from playing tonight against the Boston Celtics.

“It’s going to be weird,” Kendrick Perkins said.

Thunder coach Scott Brooks wouldn’t speculate whether Durant will miss more than tonight’s game, but he said Perry Jones will start in Durant’s place.

Oklahoma City has been worse offensively, better defensively and only slightly worse overall with Durant on the bench this season, but those Durant-less minutes were obviously carefully chosen. The Thunder’s starting lineup tonight – Reggie Jackson, Thabo Sefolosha, Jones, Serge Ibaka and Perkins – has played just two minutes together this season.

“We have more than enough to compete,” Brooks said. “An old coach of mine, ‘All you need is five.’ And we have five guys.”

This is Jones’ third-career start, his second in place of Durant. In Oklahoma City’s final regular-season game last year, Jones had 14 points and nine rebounds as Durant rested.

“It’s his chance to show us, the coaches and the rest of the NBA what he can do,” Perkins said of Jones.

But Perkins also offered a warning.

“When one of your leaders goes out like Kevin who’s been averaging all these points, everybody thinks they’ve got to step up,” Perkins said. “No, the thing is you just do what you do, but do it a little bit better. So, that doesn’t mean go out and take more shots and stuff like that. It means run your offense harder. It means play better defense. Just give yourself a chance.”

  1. shuttaman1990 - Jan 24, 2014 at 7:15 PM

    Tries to play like Kobe, gets hurt in the process.
    Lakers all day.

    • antistratfordian - Jan 24, 2014 at 7:21 PM

      Uh… Kobe gets hurt trying to play like Kobe.

      • shuttaman1990 - Jan 24, 2014 at 11:08 PM

        Kobe got hurt cuz he’s possilbly old, and near the end of his career? Durant? Well he’s a stickman.

      • ranfan12 - Jan 26, 2014 at 12:04 AM

        Look at the the trolls in their natural habitat showing their dominance

    • joekapp - Jan 24, 2014 at 10:21 PM

      Kobe:former great now hurt all the time. Lakers suck all day.

  2. antistratfordian - Jan 24, 2014 at 7:21 PM

    Out with chuckers’ elbow?

    • davidly - Jan 25, 2014 at 5:38 AM

      That’d be a chucker with a greater than 30 PER.

    • sportsfan18 - Jan 25, 2014 at 7:13 AM

      Nothing wrong with chuckin’ it when so many of them go in…

  3. fanofthegame79 - Jan 24, 2014 at 8:27 PM

    I think this injury happened in San Antonio. When I saw it live, I thought it could have been worse than what it appears to be, if he only misses a game or two (I thought it could have been a rotator cuff or labrum tear). I’d hate to see another star be out for any extended period due to injury, it seems like there’s been a lot of that. What I don’t understand is the hate… You can’t bash on Durant – he’s doing what he needs to do to keep his team in the thick of it without Westbrook. Besides, he seems like a good person. And I wouldn’t call myself a fan of his.

    • spursareold - Jan 26, 2014 at 9:28 AM

      Sean Elliott called it on the Spurs telecast as a torn rotator cuff as soon as it happened. Same exact thing happened to him when he tried to dunk and got it blocked, very much like KD did. Sean said it was just a little sore, and they told him he would miss a couple of games, but the MRI showed a tear and it was surgery time.

      • fanofthegame79 - Jan 26, 2014 at 3:44 PM

        Interesting. I wasn’t watching the Spurs telecast, but glad to know I was a little close with a guess. Crazy how things that appear to be minor can turn into something major. Although, Durant was back the other night and had a triple double, so he’s fine.

  4. lakerade - Jan 24, 2014 at 9:56 PM

    Thanks fan79, I was looking for some info on when that injury occurred or if it was just wear and tear. Too bad either way, dude had a crazy scoring run going.

  5. jollyjoker2 - May 27, 2014 at 9:53 PM

    now if this would only happen to wade or LeBron…all would be well.

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