Westbrook Out Tonight
By Randy Renner
Just moments ago Thunder head coach Scott Brooks told reporters that All-Star point guard Russell Westbrook will sit out tonight’s game against the Dallas Mavericks.
"Reggie (Jackson) will start tonight and Russell will start tomorrow night," Brooks said.
Westbrook has averaged 22.0 points, 7.5 assists, 4.9 rebounds and 2.6 steals in 26.7 minutes of playing time in the 10 games he’s played since returning from his third knee surgery.
He’s also shooting 46.7 percent overall and 42.3 percent on threes during that time. Brooks again said the team “has had a plan in place” since Westbrook returned to the lineup to rest him in some back-to-back sets. Brooks said Westbrook’s rest is not linked to any problems with his right knee, “no, no he’s fine.” It’s just an opportunity to rest him. He also said he's not willing to say right now if Russ will miss one game of all six of OKC's back-to-back sets coming up on the schedule.
Mavs head coach Rick Carlisle said dealing with the Thunder even without Westbrook is no easy task. “Jackson doies similar things, he’s no Westbrook, but still and now you have to deal with (Kevin) Durant more. So we’ll throw the kitchen sink at ‘em and see what happens.”
Thunder rookie Andre Roberson will get his second straight start and sixth of the season at shooting guard for OKC filling in for the injured Thabo Sefolosha. “I thought he did a good job last game (against the Lakers and Jodie Meeks) Brooks said, “But he definitely has a pretty strong player he’ll have to guard (tonight).” That players is Mavs leading scorer Monta Ellis, who’s averaging 18.8 points.
- The Thunder are 5-0 in games Roberson has started this season.
- The Mavs are coming off a season-high 62 percent shooting night from beyond the arc at Utah or March 12th. Dallas hasn’t played a game since and in games following at least two days rest Mavs forward Dirk Nowitzki is averaging 25 points. He scored 31 in that game at Utah.
- Kevin Durant has scored at least 25 points in 30 straight games, that’s the longest such streak of his career and the longest in the NBA since Michael Jordan put together a 40 game streak in the 1986-87 season.
- Mavs forward Vince Carter is just eight points shy of 23,000 for his career. He would be the 27th player in the NBA to reach that milestone.
- OKC has beaten Dallas in 11 straight games (including playoffs) and the Thunder are 11-3 this season in games played on Sundays.