Sports

Durant still confident OKC among NBA's best teams, even without injured Westbrook

  • Oklahoma City Thunder forward Kevin Durant makes a face as he watches the game from the sidelines in the third quarter of a preseason NBA basketball game against the Utah Jazz in Oklahoma City, Sunday, Oct. 20, 2013. Oklahoma City won 88-82. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)

    Oklahoma City Thunder forward Kevin Durant makes a face as he watches the game from the sidelines in the third quarter of a preseason NBA basketball game against the Utah Jazz in Oklahoma City, Sunday, Oct. 20, 2013. Oklahoma City won 88-82. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)  (The Associated Press)

  • Oklahoma City Thunder forward Kevin Durant (35) dunks in front of Utah Jazz forward Derrick Favors (15) in the first quarter of a preseason NBA basketball game in Oklahoma City, Sunday, Oct. 20, 2013. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)

    Oklahoma City Thunder forward Kevin Durant (35) dunks in front of Utah Jazz forward Derrick Favors (15) in the first quarter of a preseason NBA basketball game in Oklahoma City, Sunday, Oct. 20, 2013. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)  (The Associated Press)

  • Oklahoma City Thunder head coach Scott Brooks smiles in the fourth quarter of a preseason NBA basketball game against the Utah Jazz in Oklahoma City, Sunday, Oct. 20, 2013. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)

    Oklahoma City Thunder head coach Scott Brooks smiles in the fourth quarter of a preseason NBA basketball game against the Utah Jazz in Oklahoma City, Sunday, Oct. 20, 2013. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)  (The Associated Press)

Kevin Durant expects Oklahoma City to remain a fixture in the chase for an NBA championship, even as the Thunder try to overcome the early absence of All-Star point guard Russell Westbrook.

Oklahoma City had the best record in the Western Conference last season, earning a No. 1 seed in the playoffs with a 60-22 record during the regular season.

Following a knee injury to Westbrook, the Thunder lost in the second round of the playoff to Memphis — falling short of a return trip to the NBA Finals.

Westbrook is expected to miss the first few weeks of this season after a second surgery on his right knee earlier this month, but the team expects him to make a full recovery.