Kevin Durant to sit Friday with shoulder soreness

Jan 24, 6:02 PM

The Oklahoma City Thunder will be without the league's leading scorer on Friday night when they take on the Boston Celtics.

Dealing with soreness in his right shoulder, Kevin Durant will sit for the first time all season. Sophomore Perry Jones will start in Durant's place.

The 25-year-old Durant has been quite an ironman so far in his career - he missed just a single game last season and none the year before, and has played in 504 of a possible 519 games in his career. Coincidentally, his last game missed was also against Boston.

While a Thunder-Celtics match-up would normally have blowout potential, the Thunder playing without Durant and Russell Westbrook leaves them without a combined 52.3 points, 13.7 rebounds, 12.1 assists and 3.3 steals. This is the first game in franchise history that will feature neither player.

Your move, Reggie Jackson. Jackson scored 11 straight points on Wednesday and has averaged 18.7 over his past six games. He'll get every opportunity to fill it up on Friday.

Jones, by the way, will be starting for the third time in his career. In 32 games this season, the versatile 6-foot-11 forward is averaging 3.2 points and 1.7 rebounds in 10.8 minutes.

Jan 25, 6:33 PM

Kevin Durant will play Saturday, probably attack 'Melo's 62 points

Jan 25, 6:33 PM

Oklahoma City Thunder fans can breather a sigh of relief, as their superstar's shoulder injury appears to be relatively minor.

After sitting out Friday night's game with soreness in his right shoulder, Kevin Durant will return to the lineup Saturday against the Philadelphia 76ers.

While the team performed well in the franchise's first ever game without Durant and Russell Westbrook, it's obviously preferable to have the league's leading scorer - and perhaps its most valuable player - in the fold.

The big question now is how many points Durant goes off for. Carmelo Anthony went for 62on Friday night, topping Durant's season- and career-high of 54. With how hot Durant's been and how porous the Philly defense is (they rank 24th overall), it would hardly be surprising to see the Slim Reaper fill the stat sheet if the game is close.

In 43 games this season, Durant is averaging 31 points, 7.7 rebounds, 5.1 assists and 1.5 steals. All of those except the rebounds are career-highs because somehow, it's actually possible to improve when you're already one of the two best basketball players in the world.

Jan 24, 4:36 PM

Kevin Durant is a game-time decision Friday vs. Celtics

Jan 24, 4:36 PM

Having already put up four 45-point games in January, Kevin Durant may have to wait another day before he tries to equal Kobe Bryant's record of five 45-point performances in a single month.

Durant, who has yet to miss a game this season, finished with 21 points, eight assists, seven rebounds, and three steals in the Thunder's 119-96 win over the Celtics almost three weeks ago.

January has seen the "Slim Reaper" average a phenomenal 36.9 points per game on 52.4 percent shooting to with 5.8 rebounds and 5.8 assists.