- Associated Press - Thursday, March 3, 2011

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - NBA scoring leader Kevin Durant was held out of practice Thursday with a sprained left ankle and Thunder coach Scott Brooks says it’s doubtful he will play Friday night at Atlanta.

“It’s one of those injuries you can’t avoid. I feel good today, better than I thought,” Durant said. “We’re just taking it day by day and see what happens tomorrow.”

Durant said the good news is that he hasn’t experienced the swelling he had when he sprained the same ankle and had to miss two games in November. He remained hopeful he wouldn’t miss a game this time.

“He’s day-to-day. We’ll see how he feels tomorrow but I would say doubtful,” Brooks said. “With Kevin, he has the toughness, he loves to play, so when he’s ready, he’s going to step on the court and play at the level that we all are accustomed to seeing.”

Durant, who’s scoring 28.4 points per game, rolled his ankle when he stepped on Tyler Hansbrough’s foot on a drive to the basket in the third quarter Wednesday night. He was helped to the locker room and left with a walking boot strapped onto his foot.

He was out of the boot for practice Thursday but didn’t participate.

“I haven’t done anything, man. It’s killing me,” Durant said. “I tried to get some shots up but they wouldn’t let me, but I shot some free throws so I did a little something.”

Brooks said guard James Harden would likely start if Durant is unable to play against the Hawks.

“I’m not going to change everything up if he doesn’t play,” Brooks said. “We’re just going to roll different guys in to get those minutes. But I’ll make those decisions tomorrow if that happens.”

The Thunder are also without newly acquired center Kendrick Perkins, who sprained his left knee before being traded away by Boston and is expected to be out one to two more weeks.

Oklahoma City currently stands fourth in the Western Conference and can afford to wait until both are back to full strength, although Denver has moved within 2 1/2 games of bumping the Thunder out of the last spot with home-court advantage in the first round of the playoffs.