OKLAHOMA CITY - Oklahoma City's Kevin Durant appears to have captured his third-straight NBA scoring title before the regular season is even officially in the books.

As first reported by Sports Illustrated's Sam Amick and Lakers.com reporter Mike Trudell, L.A. Lakers head coach Mike Brown announced Thursday afternoon that Kobe Bryant will not play in their regular season finale against Sacramento.

Durant netted 32 points in OKC's regular season finale on Wednesday to boost his total to an average to 28.03 points per game while Bryant currently averages 27.86 points per contest.

If Kobe were to play, he would have to score 38 points to surpass Durant for the title.

With the No. 3 seed in the Western Conference playoffs already locked up, ESPN reports that Coach Brown decided to "sit the team's stars and use the game as a talent evaluator for its young players."

If Durant does in fact win the title, it makes him the youngest player in NBA history to win three scoring titles. Michael Jordan was 25 when he won his third straight, while Durant is just 23.

He would join Wilt Chamberlain, Michael Jordan, George Mikan, Neil Johnson, Bob McAdoo and George Gervin as the only other players to win three-straight titles.

The Thunder open the playoffs Saturday in Oklahoma City. Their opponent and game time will be determined late Thursday night.