Thunder to rest Durant, Ibaka vs. Pistons

Rod Beard
The Detroit News
Oklahoma City Thunder forward Kevin Durant is averaging 28 points this season.

Auburn Hills — The Pistons might have caught a bit of a break ahead of Tuesday night’s game against the Oklahoma City Thunder.

Before the game, the Thunder announced that forwards Kevin Durant and Serge Ibaka will get a rest day and will not play in the matchup at The Palace. Dion Waiters and former Piston Kyle Singler will start in their place.

Oklahoma City is on the second game of a back-to-back, having won at Toronto on Monday night. The Thunder have won eight straight and are comfortably in the No. 3 spot in the Western Conference playoff race, with a 41/2 game lead over the Los Angeles Clippers.

“With the back-to-back, we really felt like there was a good opportunity to do this for Serge and Kevin,” coach Billy Donovan said.

Durant is averaging 28 points, 8.3 rebounds and 5.0 assists and Ibaka 12.7 points, 6.8 rebounds but with only eight games remaining ahead of the playoffs, Donovan saw an opportunity to rest two of his starters.

The absences will put more onus on Russell Westbrook — who has seven triple-doubles in his last 12 games — to produce for the Thunder.