Luol Deng has learned some things over the years.

He has learned when to speed things up and slow them down, playing with efficiency and an economy of movement that allows him to handle whatever workload coach Tom Thibodeau throws his way.

Lately, for a variety of reasons, that workload has been less strenuous than usual. For four straight games, Deng has played 34 minutes, 58 seconds or less. In Friday night's blowout victory in Charlotte, Deng logged just 27:49.

"Every game is different," Deng said. "I just play when I'm asked to play. Sometimes I play more. Sometimes I play less."

This easy-going approach aids Deng in his ability to handle leading the league in average minutes per game at 39.2. The Thunder's Kevin Durant, a Sunday opponent, ranks second at 39.

Deng is on pace to play just more than 3,015 minutes this season, which would be the third-highest total of his career. That it would be less than the 3,071 he logged for Scott Skiles in 2006-07 could debunk the myth that Thibodeau is the only coach to play core players heavy minutes. That Thibodeau has dropped Deng's minutes lately could too.

"I thought I was a little fatigued before the (All-Star) break," Deng said. "But I feel like I'm getting my energy back up."