(SportsNetwork.com) – The Oklahoma City Thunder are now down two superstars,
but time won’t stop as the Denver Nuggets head to Chesapeake Energy Arena
With Kevin Durant already out at least six to eight weeks, fellow All-Star
Russell Westbrook joined him on the injured list. Westbrook suffered a
fracture in the second metacarpal of his right hand in Thursday’s loss to the
Los Angeles Clippers and is reportedly out four to six weeks.
That puts their timetable almost at the exact time, but the Thunder will be in
a really difficult spot without two of the league’s best players.
“It’s unfortunate the way it is right now, but it’s the way it is,” Thunder
head coach Scott Brooks said. “We have to figure out how to continue to
The Thunder haven’t started 0-2 since the 2008-09 season, the team’s first in
Oklahoma City. That season, the Thunder won game three, then lost 14 in a row.
While it might be tough sledding without Durant and Westbrook for a while,
that kind of futility seems unlikely.
OKC played the Clippers tough despite Westbrook going down in the first
quarter. The Thunder fell, 93-90, and were led by a career night from Perry
Jones. He scored 32 points and grabbed seven rebounds.
“My teammates were in my head, especially Kevin (Durant),” Jones said. “He was
telling me to be aggressive and telling me that the team is going to need
somebody to step up and be aggressive. That’s all I tried to do.”
Serge Ibaka finished with 17 points and nine rebounds. Sebastian Telfair
chipped in 11 and Steven Adams grabbed 10 rebounds in the losing effort.
The Thunder are expected to once again be without Reggie Jackson (ankle),
Jeremy Lamb (back) and Anthony Morrow (knee).
The Nuggets opened the season with an 89-79 victory at home over the Detroit
Pistons on Wednesday.
Kenneth Faried continued his success from his stint with the gold-medal-
winning Team USA at the FIBA World Cup. He had 22 points, 17 rebounds and four
assists in Denver’s victory.
“Every night I have to go out there and prove myself,” said Faried, who made
the All-Tournament team in Spain and signed a new contract extension this
Finally healthy, these Nuggets hope to contend in a crowded Western
Conference. Arron Afflalo chipped in 15 points and Timofey Mozgov tallied 13
and 11 rebounds.
All 12 Nuggets that took the floor scored at least two points.
The Thunder won three of four against the Nuggets last season, including both
home games. OKC has taken nine of the last 11 meetings as the host against