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Thunder don't plan to sit Durant in back-to-backs


The Oklahoma City Thunder have no plans to sit Kevin Durant during a stretch in which they will play four games in five nights, according to coach Billy Donovan.

The Thunder will play the Rockets in Houston on Monday, one day after their home victory over the Nuggets. After a day off Tuesday, Oklahoma City hosts the Raptors on Wednesday before traveling to Chicago for a game Thursday against the Bulls.

Although Durant missed most of last season with a foot injury, Donovan said the Thunder won’t hold the six-time All-Star out of any upcoming games.

“There’s no ‘OK, after tonight we’re gonna rest him,'” Donovan said Sunday, according to The Oklahoman. “Or a ‘Hey, listen, we’re gonna get through this midweek and then rest him on the back end.’ Those guys are gonna play, and they want to play. They are competitors.”

Durant, 27, had 25 points and five assists in just 28 minutes Sunday and did not play in the fourth quarter of Oklahoma City’s 117-93 blowout victory. The 2014 league MVP was irritated when asked before the game about playing in his first back-to-back stretch of the season.

“I’m really tired of y’all talking to me like I’m a 19-year vet, man,” Durant told reporters. “I was out a year — not even a whole year. I’m all right. I can play those minutes. It’s not like I’m struggling the next day.

“I want to play every minute, but I can’t do that. I feel great to play as much as coach wants me to play. I’m not 39 years old.”

The Thunder’s relatively easy game Sunday came less than 48 hours after a double-overtime victory against the Orlando Magic. Durant played a team-high 54 minutes in that contest, scoring 43 points.

“Clearly that’s too many minutes for him,” Donovan said. “I think he would even say that. It was a unique situation.”

ESPN.com’s Royce Young contributed to this report.



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