OKLAHOMA CITY (Sporting Alert) — Russell Westbrook will play for the Oklahoma City Thunder in Friday night’s game against the New York Knicks, head coach Scott Brooks announced.
Westbrook returned to full practice on Monday after recovering from a fractured right hand he suffered on Oct. 30 in the 90-93 defeat to the Los Angeles Clipper, and Brooks confirmed that the All-Star point guard will be in the starting lineup.
However, Brooks revealed that Kevin Durant, who also returned to regular practice at the top of the week, is still unavailable for the game at the Chesapeake Energy Arena here in Oklahoma City.
Durant averaged 32.0 points, 7.4 rebounds and 5.5 assists per game last season.
Westbrook is expected to play his regular minutes — no limited restrictions — on Friday night, while Brooks says Reggie Jackson, who is averaging 20.2 points and 7.8 assists per game this season, will come off the bench.
The Thunder also say that forward Grant Jerrett has recovered from an offseason ankle surgery and is finally available to see minutes.
Oklahoma City is 4-12 on the season thus far and will be hoping that the return of Westbrook will help the team improve in the win column.
Meanwhile, the New York Knicks have listed star forward Carmelo Anthony as doubtful for Friday’s game with the Thunder.
Anthony, who didn’t play in the Knicks’ 102-109 in overtime defeat to the Dallas Mavericks on Wednesday, continues to struggle with back spasms.
In other NBA news on Friday, the Chicago Bulls say Derrick Rose and Joacim Noah will both start against the Boston Celtics in the early tip-off.
Rose returns from a hamstring injury, while Noah is back from eye and knee troubles.