Russell Westbrook to return Thursday against the Heat

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The Thunder went 20-7 in Russell Westbrook's absence. (Nathaniel S. Butler/Getty)


The Oklahoma City Thunder may have made the biggest splash of trade deadline day, and it doesn't involve bringing in a new player.

The team announced  that All-Star guard Russell Westbrook will be available to play in Thursday night's game against the Miami Heat. Westbrook had previously predicted he would return against the Heat in an interview with Grantland's Bill Simmons last week.

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Westbrook hasn't played since Christmas Day against the Knicks after having surgery on his right knee for the third time since April. In the 27 games without Westbrook, the Thunder went 20-7, and Kevin Durant emerged as the MVP front-runner, averaging 35 points, 6.3 assists, and 7.5 rebounds in that span.

Westbrook is averaging 21.3 points, 7.0 assists and 6.0 rebounds in 25 games this season.