Barea to start despite big Thunder backcourt

December, 16, 2009
12/16/09
6:52
PM CT
J.J. Barea will start again at shooting guard tonight against an Oklahoma backcourt that features strong 6-foot-3 point guard Russell Westbrook and 6-7 shooting guard Thabo Sefolosha

Josh Howard will continue to come off the bench. In his first three games back, he's played 26, 23 and 29 minutes. He could be asked to play more than tonight with 6-9 forward Kevin Durant and 6-9 forward Jeff Green in the lineup.

"He's doing well," coach Rick Carlisle said of Howard. "Having him off the bench, it's a plus for us right now. His minutes have been inching up gradually, so that's probably good. We don't have any back-to-backs until later in the month so we're just going to keep bringing him along."

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TEAM LEADERS

POINTS
Monta Ellis
PTS AST STL MIN
20.9 4.5 1.7 34.1
OTHER LEADERS
ReboundsT. Chandler 11.9
AssistsR. Rondo 9.3
StealsR. Rondo 2.0
BlocksT. Chandler 1.4