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Oklahoma City Thunder guard Russell Westbrook (0) in the first half of an NBA basketball game Thursday, Nov. 9, 2017. 

OKLAHOMA CITY — Golden State Warriors star Kevin Durant is questionable for Wednesday’s game against the Oklahoma City Thunder. 

Durant sprained his ankle during Saturday’s win over the Philadelphia 76ers and missed the next night’s game at the Brooklyn Nets, a 118-111 victory. 

If he plays, it would be Durant’s second game back in Oklahoma City since his infamous return game on Feb. 11. He missed Golden State’s most recent game in OKC, a 111-95 Warriors win, while recovering from a knee injury.

“It’s just a regular game for me now,” he told reporters Tuesday. “I learned how to tune out the crowd. I learned how to tune out the [expletive] and just play. 

It’s a line players and coaches alike have used — even if Durant’s second game back in Oklahoma certainly won’t be just another game for the thousands who attend Chesapeake Energy Arena on Wednesday. Yet, it’s the new fad. Everyone, including Russell Westbrook, is saying it. 

A reporter asked Westbrook following Tuesday’s practice at what point playing the Warriors will be just another game. 

“I’ve been at that point,” Westbrook started to say before dipping his head back and exclaiming a sarcastic, “Uhhhh.”

He continued, “Since I got drafted.”

• Clanking: The oddest part of Westbrook’s slow statistical start to the season is his jump shot. The reigning MVP has never been the NBA’s splashiest shooter, but he has also brought his efficiency up to career-best levels over the previous couple of seasons, a particularly impressive feat last year when he chucked more than ever before. 

Yet, everything is down this year. Massively. 

Westbrook’s 39.4 percent from the field through 16 games would be the worst figure of his career. And it’s the jumpers which are bringing down his percentage. 

He’s a 38 percent career shooter from 16 feet out to the 3-point line. Yet, this year, he’s sinking a paltry 29 percent of attempts from that area. His worst single-season percentage coming into this year was 35 percent.

He’s a 40 percent career shooter at 10-to-16 feet from the rim. He’s knocking down just 26 percent of those attempts this season, easily his worst ever.

He’s a 32 percent career shooter from three-to-10 feet, an area which is mostly difficult to shoot from since the majority of attempts for guards are either floaters or post-ups. Yet, Westbrook is shoot just nine percent on the season from that distance.  

He’s doing all this without getting to the line much, either. His free-throw attempts per field-goal attempt is at the second-lowest ratio of his career. 

Coach Billy Donovan says it’s merely about discomfort. 

“He’s looking to see what’s going on in front of him and behind him, in particular behind pick-and-roll. and I think he’s trying to see, is somebody leaking in? Is someone cheating in? And can I make a quick pass and get a guy a shot?” he said. “The balance that he’s working through right now is going up and taking those shots when they’re there because he’s really good at it…he’s surveying right now. And I think everything comes from probably a place with his shooting percentage in my opinion of trying to be really unselfish.” 

• Cousins’ flagrant: Not everyone thought New Orleans Pelicans big man DeMarcus Cousins’ flagrant 2 foul was deserving. 

Cousins whipped his right elbow into Westbrook’s face during the third quarter of Monday’s 114-107 Thunder loss in New Orleans just as Westbrook was coming in to try stealing a rebound. Officials called the foul a flagrant 2, an automatic ejection, after review. 

“I definitely think he flopped. He took advantage of Cousins’ history,” Cousins’ teammate and defensive stopper Tony Allen said. “He was going to get the best of that call...You saw him get right back up and miss the free throw. He missed it, so you know what that means. The ball don’t lie.” 

Cousins, meanwhile, told reporters he was just doing as he was taught.

“It’s crazy. When you start playing the game of basketball as a big man, they tell you, ‘When you get a rebound, keep your elbows high and out,’ you know, to protect the ball from guards coming in stripping,” he said, via AP. “All I did was use my fundamentals and I got punished for it.” 

Cousins led the NBA with 18 technicals last season. 

“I’m DeMarcus,” he said. “I expected the ejection. I knew.”

Fred Katz is the Thunder beat writer for the Norman Transcript and CNHI Oklahoma as well as the host of the postgame show, Thunder After Dark, and the OKC Dream Team, a weekly Thunder podcast that runs every Tuesday. Follow him on Twitter: @FredKatz.

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