LaMarcus Aldridge to sit out Monday’s Blazers-Thunder game, with huge playoff implications for Oklahoma City

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The Oklahoma City Thunder, in all likelihood, have to win both of their remaining games in order to have a chance at making the playoffs. They got a huge help in that task on Monday night when the Blazers announced that LaMarcus Aldridge would sit out with a sprained foot:

LaMarcus Aldridge and¬†Arron Afflalo have been ruled out for Portland’s game at Oklahoma City.

Aldridge, an All-Star forward who averages a team-best 23.5 points and 10.3 rebounds, will miss his second straight game with a left foot sprain. Afflalo, who has a strained right shoulder, also will miss his second straight game.

It’s the second break the Thunder have caught today. First, they learned earlier Monday that Russell Westbrook’s 16th technical, which would have warranted a one-game suspension, had been rescinded by the league. Now, with the Blazers’ best player sitting out, they have a prime opportunity to keep their playoff hopes alive.