Russ, Reggie & Perk Will Play
By Randy Renner
Thunder head coach Scott Brooks let reporters know just before the game tonight that point guard Russell Westbrook will play tonight and then sit tomorrow in the second game of the back-to-back in Houston.
Brook also said Reggie Jackson will play tonight after missing two games with a sprain in his mid-back and then he revealed that center Kendrick Perkins will also be back in the starting lineup tonight.
"He's only gonna play five minutes or so in the first half and another five minutes or so in the second. We don't wanna risk anything his first game back," Brooks said.
Perkins has missed 17 games with a strained left groin. Thabo Sefolosha has missed the last 14 with a strained left calf and he remains out tonight.
"Thabo's getting closer, but it's good to have most of our guys back now and we'll have everyone for the playoffs," said Brooks.
At the other end of the hallway, Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich said sixth man Manu Ginobili would be held out of the game tonight but the Spurs other regulars will play.
"Everybody tries to make a big deal out of who we're playing or who we're sitting, the bottom line is everyone wants to be playing well and be healthy for the playoffs," Popovich said.
- During their streak the Spurs are averaging 111.2 points and holding opponents to just 94.7, their bench is averaging 50.4 points, 15.1 points more than their opponents bench players and Kawhi Leonard is the only Spur to average 30 minutes a game over those 19 wins and he’s just at 30.1. Duncan (28.6), Parker (27.6) and Ginobili (22) are all well below.
- The Spurs are finishing up a stretch of five games in seven nights, the Thunder are starting one, with four of those five on the road.
- San Antonio is 48-1 when leading after three quarters and lead the NBA in fourth quarter scoring, averaging 27.2 points in the last 12 minutes.
- Durant has scored at least 25 points in 38 straight games, just two shy of tying Michael Jordan’s 40 game streak from 1986-87, the longest in the last 50 years. Before putting up 37 against the Spurs in January, Durant had averaged just 22.3 in the six games before that one.