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News » Lackluster effort

Lackluster effort

Lackluster effort
Coach Scott Brooks told the team Saturday at practice that the effort in a 35-point loss to Portland on Friday night was unacceptable. His message must have fallen on deaf ears.

"That wasn't the competitive spirit I was looking for," Brooks said after the loss to Indiana. "We didn't play with enough effort on the defensive end. Offensively, we couldn't shoot the ball, and we let it affect our effort, our energy. The last two games are not the way we want to finish the season."


Point guard Shaun Livingston, sidelined two years after a severe knee injury, has played well in both games since he was signed. Livingston had 10 points, seven rebounds and five assists. "Shaun is going to get better the more he gets the rust off his game," Brooks said. "He's a young, capable player who is going to improve. He's only 23. The last two games, he's showing what we like, showing us what we need, a guy who continues to move the ball and find open guys."


OKC has won 13 straight games when it holds teams to less than 100 points, a streak that dates back to Jan. 9. The problem is, opponents routinely are reaching the century mark. Foes have scored 100 in seven of the last nine games, all Thunder losses.

"We can't be getting beat by 20 or 30 points at home in front of our home crowd," said Thabo Sefolosha. "That's not acceptable. We have to come back, practice hard and play much better the next game."


The Indiana game was the Thunder's 16th sellout this season. Brian Byrnes, vice president of tickets and services, said Tuesday night's game with San Antonio and Friday's home final with Charlotte also will be sellouts. That will give the team 18 sellouts in its debut season. Oklahoma City ranks 10th in the league in percentage of tickets sold (97.6) and is 11th in overall attendance (18,680).


At least a dozen Thunder players will complete work on Ethel Ann Cheatham's home today on 34th Street, then pick up her grandchildren, whom she's raising, in a limo at school. Last week, Brooks, general manager Sam Presti and their staffs began repairs as part of the Thunder's Rebuilding Together project.

The Thunder organization, staff and players have donated funds to purchase the family beds, furniture and other household items. Cheatham has called the Thunder's assistance her "Miracle on 34th Street."


Former OSU guard Stephen Graham is playing 12.8 minutes a game but averaging 5.2 points, having appeared in 49 of the Pacers' 77 games. ... Guard Brandon Rush, a member of last year's Kansas national title team, is in Indiana's starting lineup. Rush is averaging only 7.4 points but recently had back-to-back 29-point outings.

Author: Fox Sports
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Added: April 9, 2009


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