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Scott Brooks made the same promise following Wednesday's 108-102 loss to the Memphis Grizzles that he's made after almost all of the Thunder's nine losses during his tenure.

"It's not going to last forever," Brooks asserted.

The end doesn't seem near, either.

After playing improved ball in seven of Brooks' first eight games as interim coach, the Thunder has completely relapsed in the past two outings.

Oklahoma City blew a 21-point, first-half lead against the Grizzlies and watched Memphis shoot 70.6 percent in the fourth quarter and outscore it 32-19 in the frame. And Memphis did so with No. 3 overall pick and leading scorer O.J. Mayo on the bench throughout the final 12 minutes. It was Mike Conley, an underachieving No. 4 overall pick from the 2007 draft, who shredded the Thunder's defense, scoring 14 of his 16 points in the final frame.

The loss, which dropped the Thunder to 2-21 and extended its losing streak to five games, rivals Monday night's 10-point defeat to the shorthanded Golden State Warriors as the worst of the season.

What's not up for debate is the Thunder's frustration level has risen to a season high.

"This is the most miserable season I've ever been a part of," said forward Nick Collison.

"The Golden State game was about as bad as it could be. But tonight, to be up 20 and then to lose to Memphis, it's tough. I don't really know what to say at this point. It's been the same thing every game... We're just not very good right now."

While Oklahoma City's effort and offensive rhythm has improved under Brooks, the Thunder has given up 105.9 points per game in Brooks' 10 games at the helm, 108.3 over the past three contests.

"A couple of wins can really help the team spirit and confidence," Collison said. "So if we can get one or two it'll definitely change things."

But the Grizzlies were the last team in a five-game stretch in which three of the Thunder's opponents had losing records and presented a prime opportunity for Oklahoma City to collect some victories. Now, the Thunder enters into a stretch of eight of nine games against playoff teams from a year ago, starting with back-to-back weekend sets against West powers Dallas and San Antonio.

"This is a tough position for us all to be in, but we are in it," Brooks said. "The only way to attack it is to go through it. You have to either go through it or around it or over it. But there's no way you let it stop you from getting to where you want to go.

"I understand that everybody in the locker room is not feeling good about it, including myself. But we have to go through it."

Author: Fox Sports
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Added: December 13, 2008


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