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Kevin Durant out against Kings, doubtful for Grizzlies

Oklahoma City Thunder v Cleveland Cavaliers

CLEVELAND, OH - DECEMBER 17: Kevin Durant #35 of the Oklahoma City Thunder in action against the Cleveland Cavaliersduring the first half of their game on December 17, 2015 at Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio. The Cavaliers defeated the Thunder 104-100. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by David Maxwell/Getty Images)

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Kevin Durant broke his right foot twice and had three surgeries on it last season.

Now, he has sprained his right big toe.

Anthony Slater of The Oklahoman:

Because of it, Durant will miss OKC’s game against the Kings on Monday night. The team said it will re-evaluate him over the next few days, with his status doubtful for Wednesday against the Grizzlies.

This setback could be unrelated to the others, but Durant might be moving differently as a result of previous foot injuries. He hurt his toe while falling in the Thunder’s win over the Hornets on Saturday.

If this sidelines Durant just a couple games, it’s not a big deal. But if this lingers or makes him more likely to get hurt again, it could be huge.

Durant is obviously one of the NBA’s top players, averaging 26.6 points, 7.4 rebounds and 4.6 assists per game. And those aren’t empty numbers. The Thunder are 21-7 when Durant plays and 3-3 when he doesn’t, their performance changing significantly when he goes on the floor to off:

  • Offensive rating: 114.4 to 101.9
  • Defensive rating: 99.3 to 101.8
  • Net rating: +15.1 to +0.1

Russell Westbrook can shoulder a larger load while Durant is out, but that’s only a short-term solution. Oklahoma City needs both healthy to contend – which, not for nothing, would help convince Durant to re-sign this summer.

More immediately, the Thunder have a decent cushion behind the Warriors and Spurs and ahead of the Clippers for third place in the Western Conference. So, don’t expect much movement at the top of the standings as a result of this injury. But it could help two teams who aren’t playoff locks – the Grizzlies (inside looking out) and Kings (outside looking in).