By Randy Renner, Senior Writer
Tonight’s Thunder-Rockets matchup on national TV tonight will maintain all its star power after all.
This morning at shootaround Kevin Durant told reporters his sore right elbow was feeling much better and he would be in the starting lineup for the Thunder.
Then late this afternoon after warming up on the Chesapeake Energy Arena floor Rockets star James Harden said his sprained left ankle had recovered enough for him to play too.
Neither player will be under any minutes restrictions though Harden’s ankle, if not totally healed, could easily be more problematic than Durant’s elbow.
Thunder forward Kyle Singler remains sidelined with a sore back. Singler did not play in Saturday’s game at Indiana and didn’t practice Monday or today. Head coach Billy Donovan said he’s not sure how long Singler will be out.
When asked about the Rockets Donovan said “transition defense is the priority tonight.” Limiting Harden’s trips to the free throw line would be ideal too.
“Harden is as good as anybody getting to the rim,” Donovan said.
- Durant has scored at least 20 points in 55 straight games. It’s the second such streak in his career and he joins just Wilt Chamberlain and Michael Jordan as players with multiple 50-game streaks of scoring at least 20 points.
OKC leads the NBA in rebounding averaging 48.6 a game. The Thunder are 40-12 when they outrebound their opponent. Oklahoma City’s 8.5 rebounding differential is the fourth largest in the NBA since 1950.
Russell Westbrook leads the NBA with 14 triple-doubles this season and is second in the league with 47 double-doubles.
Tonight’s game tips at 7:10 and can be seen only on TNT. As usual you can follow me on Twitter @RandyRenner for live updates from The Peake through the game and we’ll have full video postgame coverage including interviews from the lockerroom after the game.