Durant to remain on minutes restriction vs. Cavaliers Thursday

Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

Fans expecting to see Kevin Durant unshackled for the full-strength Oklahoma City Thunder's biggest test of the season may have to pump the breaks. 

Even with a nationally-televised game against LeBron James and the streaking Cleveland Cavaliers on tap this Thursday, head coach Scott Brooks said he'll keep Durant on a minutes restriction. 

That restriction will continue to be somewhere around 30 minutes, "give or take," said Brooks. A quick glance at Durant's first four games back reveals how seriously Brooks takes that edict. Durant has played 30, 29, 29 and 29 minutes in those four contests - three of which were wins. 

But those three wins have come against the Philadelphia 76ersDetroit Pistons and Milwaukee Bucks, not exactly a murderer's row. With a chance to make a statement against one of the hottest teams in the NBA, Brooks may have to put his "give or take" qualifier into play in a way he hasn't had to up to this point. The TNT audience would certainly appreciate it. 

Meanwhile, Durant is focusing on trying to keep the rest of his team in the right headspace as they prepare for the Cavs. When asked what advice he'd give teammate Anthony Morrow, who was apparently jacked up about facing LeBron and company, Durant said he would "Tell him to calm his ass down."

Durant to remain on minutes restriction vs. Cavaliers Thursday
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