HOUSTON (Sporting Alert) — After playing 47 minutes in Game 3 of the first round playoff series, Oklahoma City Thunder coach Scott Brooks has confirmed that Kevin Durant will be rested more in Monday’s Game 4 clash with the Houston Rockets.
GAME 4: Oklahoma City Thunder at Houston Rockets
When: Monday, April 29, 9:30 PM ET
TV Channel: TNT, Fox Sports Oklahoma, Comcast SportsNet Houston
Durant scored 41 points in the 104-101 win for the Thunder in the win on Saturday night, but played a lot of minutes to cover for Russell Westbrook, who is injured and out for the rest of the season.
“I’ll probably rest him a few minutes in the first half,” said Brooks, who expects the All-Star forward to watch the clock while on the bench.
“In the second and fourth quarter, there’s a lot of real-time rest,” Brooks added in The Oklahoman. “But if he has an opportunity to get a few more minutes of rest in the first half I’m going to take advantage of that.”
Durant knows that with Westbrook out he is expected to do extra work for Oklahoma City and the scoring machine, who scored 17 of his 41 points in the first quarter in Game 3, is ready for whatever Brooks wants from him.
“I feel great,” Durant said, speaking after his practice session on Sunday. “I really want to practice. I don’t know if you can tell that.
“I just try to get as much rest as I can and when the game rolls around, press on the gas and be ready to play. If (Brooks) decides to pull me, or if he decides to keep me in the game, I’m cool with it. I’ve just got to be involved.”
The Thunder are sitting on a 3-0 lead and victory on Monday would complete the 4-0 sweep in the seven game series.
Reggie Jackson is expected to start for Westbrook again on Monday.
Meanwhile, the Houston Rockets announced that guard Jeremy Lin will not play tonight because of a lingering bruised chest muscle problem.