© 2013 MLB Advanced Media, L.P. All rights reserved.

4/10/2013 5:00 P.M. ET

NBA stars Durant, Collison visit AT&T Park

SAN FRANCISCO -- Fans hovering around the Giants' dugout for autographs before games usually have to extend down while the players reach up to do the exchange. NBA superstar Kevin Durant, touring the dugout, made it almost an eye-to-eye experience.

Durant, the 6-foot-9 Oklahoma City Thunder forward, visited AT&T Park for the first time while in the Bay Area for Thursday's game against the playoff-bound Golden State Warriors.

Durant was accompanied by Thunder teammate Nick Collison, and both sat in the TV broadcast booth in the bottom of the second inning alongside Mike Krukow and Duane Kuiper.

Here are some Durant baseball facts: he played first base as a kid, he appreciates the intensity of Buster Posey, he made even the 6-foot-5 Brandon Belt look short and he admired the Giants' 2012 World Series run.

"You can take some things from them and put them into our game -- how they fought from being down, how they came together as a team," Durant said. "They've been playing on a championship level for a while now."

Bruce Bochy doesn't need a new first baseman, but it turns out he was a big basketball fan growing up.

"That was my love growing up," Bochy said.

Bochy was sure he would make his junior high team, but he was cut.

"That was the end of my basketball career," Bochy said.

As for Durant, he was asked whether he could he hit a curveball.

"I couldn't really hit any ball," Durant said.

Even so, it seems like it worked out for both of them.

Bochy lets Panda rest in series finale vs. Rockies

SAN FRANCISCO -- Giants manager Bruce Bochy let the warm bat of Pablo Sandoval rest on a warm San Francisco day.

Sandoval is batting .467 (7-for-15) in his last four games, but Bochy did not start his regular third baseman in Wednesday's series finale against the Colorado Rockies at AT&T Park.

Sandoval, Bochy explained, is just getting a break.

"More than anything, [we're] being cautious," Bochy said. "Just giving him a breather. It's a good day to put [Joaquin] Arias in [at third]."

While Sandoval has hit safely in six of eight games, Arias is 2-for-7 (.286) in six games this season. Arias made a start at first base against the Dodgers on April 2.

Worth noting

• Despite closing the last two games, Sergio Romo could pitch Wednesday.

"He said he feels fine," Bochy said. "We'd like to stay away from him, but he's available."

Romo is 5-for-5 in save chances and has allowed just one hit in five scoreless innings.

Willie Bans is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.