Westbrook could return when Thunder take on Philly

(SportsNetwork.com) - The Oklahoma City Thunder could get All-Star Game MVP Russell Westbrook back in the lineup Wednesday versus the Philadelphia 76ers.

Westbrook missed one game after undergoing surgery Saturday to repair a facial fracture suffered in a loss at Portland the previous night. Westbrook did not play in Sunday's 108-101 win against the Los Angeles Lakers in the finale of a three-game trip.

He is expected to wear a protective mask and has recorded a triple-double in each of his last three games. Westbrook owns 13 career triple-doubles, five this season, and is the first player since Michael Jordan (1988-89) to register six consecutive games of 20-plus points, 10-plus assists and five or more rebounds.

The Thunder halted a two-game slide with the victory at Staples Center, where Serge Ibaka powered his way to 18 points, 14 rebounds and three blocks. D.J. Augustin scored 18 points as Westbrook's replacement and Enes Kanter made an impact with 16 points to go along with 15 boards.

"I thought D.J. did a good job of stepping in," OKC coach Scott Brooks said. "Russell's been on a great level."

Oklahoma City is without superstar Kevin Durant (foot surgery) and won for the 10th time in the last 13 games.

The Thunder are clinging to the eighth playoff spot in the West and have a 19-8 record at home this season. They are unbeaten in the past five games at Chesapeake Energy Arena and have a 12-1 mark in the last 13 in OKC.

Oklahoma City will visit Chicago on Thursday.

Philadelphia has played poorly on the road this season as evidenced by a 5-26 record, and hopes to stop a 12-game slide as the guest in OKC.

The 76ers lost 13 straight road games twice last season and were handed a 114-103 setback by the Toronto Raptors Monday night. Raptors guard DeMar DeRozan scorched the Sixers for 35 points, while the hosts were led by Ish Smith's 19 points off the bench.

Nerlens Noel had 17 points and seven rebounds, Isaiah Canaan added 14 points and Thomas Robinson netted 13 in a reserve role for Philadelphia, which shot an above average 52.6 percent for the game and allowed 31 points in the fourth quarter.

Noel is averaging 13.4 points, 9.4 rebounds and 2.4 blocks in his last five games, and has stepped up his game since the trade of Michael Carter-Williams.

"I'm so proud of his evolution and development," Sixers coach Brett Brown said of Noel.

The Sixers have lost seven of eight games overall and will start a five-game homestand Friday versus Utah, Atlanta, Chicago, Sacramento and Brooklyn.

Sixers forward Robert Covington (elbow) is probable Wednesday.

Philadelphia suffered a 103-91 loss at home to Oklahoma City, as Westbrook poured in 27 points. Covington countered with 21 points for the Sixers, who are winless in the last 11 games in this series and have lost all five trips to the Sooner State.

Over the past three meetings between the Sixers and Thunder, OKC is averaging 110.3 points and Philadelphia is posting 91.3 ppg.