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      Russell Westbrook getting closer to return

      The Oklahoma City Thunder should be getting star guard Russell Westbrook back sooner rather than later. Whether that is by Thursday's marquee matchup with Miami remains to be seen.

      Thunder head coach Scott Brooks said Westbrook practiced Wednesday but would not say he would definitely play against the Heat. Brooks said they'll see how Westbrook feels Thursday to determine whether or not he plays against the Heat. Brooks added that he liked what he saw from Westbrook.

      "He looked good. He's increased his activity, he's done some things in the last couple of shootarounds. His timing looked good. It's always about continuing to be in game shape."

      Kevin Durant opened the door on the possibility of Westbrook's return when he told Grantland's Bill Simmons that Westbrook would play Thursday against the Heat. Durant said after practice that Westbrook looked good in the workout but he backed off his statement to Simmons.

      "I jumped the gun on that one. I was a little too excited. It's up to the medical staff and Russell on how he feels."

      Durant added that the reason he said Westbrook would be back Thursday is because the team had said he'd be back after the All Star break. He also said that the team had not said anything to him about his statement but he could tell he had done something he wasn't supposed to do.

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