Just minutes ago, we learned that Kevin Durant will not play tonight. The Thunder are in Boston to take on the Celtics in a game that starts at 7:30 ET.
Kevin Durant out tonight in Boston. Perry Jones starts in his place.
— Sean Grande (@SeanGrandePBP) January 24, 2014
With the way Durant has been playing lately, the game figured to be a blowout win for the Thunder – even with Westbrook out of the lineup. Now, however, the Celtics might actually have a chance at picking up a win.
The word is that Durant is sitting out with a sore shoulder, which luckily doesn’t sound like a long term injury. It sounds more like Durant seeing who was on the schedule and figuring that it would be a night he could take off.
It’s too bad for the fans in Boston that were hoping to watch Durant play tonight (this is the Thunder’s only trip to Boston), but I understand it from Durant’s perspective. The Thunder are one of the top teams in the Western Conference and one game against a lowly Eastern Conference opponent such as the Celtics likely won’t make a difference in their final standing. For Durant, however, an extra night off – in which he doesn’t have to take any bumps or falls – can help him stay fresh for the deep playoff run Oklahoma City hopes to go on.
One final, interesting note comes to us from Anthony Slater of The Oklahoman.
This will be the first game in Thunder history that both Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant will not play.
— Anthony Slater (@anthonyVslater) January 24, 2014