OKLAHOMA CITY (Sporting Alert) — Oklahoma City Thunder will be without Kevin Durant once again when they play host to the Charlotte Hornets on Friday night.
Durant, who also skipped the win over defending champions San Antonio Spurs on Christmas Day, will miss his 5th straight game because he hasn’t fully recovered from a sprained ankle.
He did participate in sections of the team’s morning shootaround on Friday, according to The Oklahoman.
The reigning MVP is averaging 22.4 points, 3.6 assists and 5.0 rebounds in his nine games thus far this season and scored 30 points in 19 minutes in his last outing against the Golden State Warriors on Dec. 18.
Another star out of Boxing Day action is Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant, as he will not face the Dallas Mavericks.
Bryant will sit out his third successive game for LA because of general soreness in his muscles, the club said.
The veteran guard, who is averaging 35.4 minutes per game this season from 27 games, also missed the Christmas Day defeat against the Chicago Bulls.
He went 8-for-30 on a very fatigue night on Dec. 21 for 25 points in his team’s 108-101 defeat against the Sacramento Kings.
“I just need to kind of hit the reset button,” Bryant said. “What happens is my body realizes how messed up it is.
“Then everything starts hurting. It’s an opportunity to treat everything,” he added.
However, both Dirk Nowitzki and Monta Ellis will play for the Mavs.
Tony Parker is also a no go for San Antonio against the Pelicans due to lingering soreness in his left hamstring, Spurs officials revealed.
“It (the pain) keeps coming back,” Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said. “That’s not good, so we’re just going to sit him out for a while.”
Kyrie Irving will not play for the Cleveland Cavaliers against the Orlando Magic because of a left knee contusion.
The All-Star point guard reaggravated the problem during the defeat against the Miami Heat on Christmas Day.
LeBron James (leg tightness) will play though.