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Friday, January 24, 2014
Kevin Durant sits out vs. Celtics

ESPN.com news services

Kevin Durant, who has scored at least 30 points in nine consecutive games for Oklahoma City, didn't play in the Thunder's 101-83 victory against the Boston Celtics on Friday night.

Durant, who aggravated his shoulder during Wednesday's win against San Antonio, was replaced in the starting lineup by Perry Jones.

"Kevin definitely loves the game," Brooks said. "He's not one that looks forward to missing games. The guy is a gamer. He loves to play.

Kevin Durant
Kevin Durant has scored at least 30 points in nine straight games, averaging 38.9 points over that stretch for the Thunder.

"It's the best thing for him. Until he's ready to play, he's not going to play, regardless of how he feels or what he wants to do. It's a medical decision."

It will be the first time in Thunder history that Durant and Russell Westbrook won't be in their lineup. Westbrook has been out since Christmas with a torn meniscus in his right knee.

"I never looked at it that way," Brooks said of not having both stars for the first time. "I know we've always had guys that step up. We have a team that takes challenges every night. You never want to be without your players, not only us but the entire league.

"Regardless of if he's a starter or not a starter, you want your entire roster to give yourself the best chance. We have more than enough to compete. Old coach of mine [said]: 'All you need is five.'"

Averaging a league-high 31.0 points, Durant is working toward a fourth career scoring title, but even he hasn't experienced a stretch like this.

"Yeah, after every game I've been getting 30 to 40 texts," Durant told NewsOK.com on Thursday.

Durant has averaged 38.9 points while reaching 30 in a career-high nine straight .

"I've seen Kobe Bryant score 40 points in nine straight games," Durant told NewsOK.com. "Michael Jordan have 11 triple-doubles in 12 games. LeBron James have a month when he's averaging 35 points. So those guys, that's something to write home about."

So does he consider his streak special?

"No, not at all," he said.

Just don't tell that to his teammates and his coach..

"[Durant] scores because he's a smart player," Brooks told the team's official website. "He scores because he has the ability to put the ball on the floor and score on different spots on the floor. He also scores because we have good players around him. If you double-team, we have guys who can make you pay."

The last team to hold Durant under 30? It was the Celtics, who kept him to 21 points during a visit to Oklahoma City on Jan. 5.

The Thunder, meanwhile, visit the Philadelphia 76ers on Saturday night. Brooks wasn't sure if Durant will be back for that game.

"Just worried about tonight's game," he said Friday. "He's not playing tonight. We're just focusing on tonight. We'll worry about Philly tomorrow."

Chris Forsberg of ESPNBoston.com and The Associated Press contributed to this report.