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Kevin Durant (35) scored a career-high 54 points in his last game.

Pregame notes: Kevin Durant will get plenty of shots with no Russell Westbrook

Published: Sunday, Jan. 19, 2014 - 3:43 pm
Last Modified: Sunday, Jan. 19, 2014 - 9:47 pm

Kings coach Michael Malone said playing the Oklahoma City Thunder without Russell Westbrooks is a “catch 22.”

“You’re happy he’s not playing because he one of the most explosive guards, if not the most explosive guard in the NBA,” Malone said. “But no Russell Westbrook means that many more shots for Kevin Durant.”

Durant is coming off scoring a career-high 54 points in a win Friday over Golden State.

“I told our guys tonight there’ s no way he’s getting 54,” Malone said. “I just hope it’s not 56.”

*Westbrook (knee) is the only key player out. When the teams played earlier this season DeMarcus Cousins (ankle) sat out the game. Oklahoma City won 97-95, Dec. 3, 2013.

Isaiah Thomas scored 21 points in the fourth quarter of that game, but missed a late jumper to force overtime in OKC’s 97-95 win.

Prediction time: Playing in one of the toughest buildings in the NBA, you have to go with Durant, the hottest player in the NBA.

Thunder 113, Kings 102

My record: 21-17

Follow The Bee’s Jason Jones on Twitter @mr_jasonjones and read more about the team at

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