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News » Oklahoma City Thunder Getting Inside 2009-02-06

Oklahoma City Thunder Getting Inside 2009-02-06

Oklahoma City Thunder Getting Inside 2009-02-06
Any strides made with a young team are surely going to be followed by occasional steps back. The Thunder had a promising January, but the two games before hosting Denver on Wednesday were troublesome.

Oklahoma City lost both because of spotty play on the defensive end, giving up 110 points at Utah and 112 in regulation against Sacramento. The Thunder allowed only 92.5 points in regulation in the two games before that.

Oklahoma City coach Scott Brooks attributed the recent struggles protecting the basket to a lack of toughness.

"That slipped and that area has slipped on our defensive end," he said. "The last two games we did not do a good job of making our opponent feel us defensively. We definitely have to refocus and stay mentally sharp in that area."

Putting the ball in the basket hasn't been an issue. Kevin Durant, Jeff Green and Russell Westbrook are proving to be a potent threesome on a nightly basis. Defense is Brooks' concern.

"We have to have more of a mentality that we're going to have stops and they have to be throughout the game," he said.

NUGGETS 114, THUNDER 113: Oklahoma City faltered down the stretch Wednesday night in front of its home fans and was nipped once again by Denver. The Thunder (11-38) have lost three straight and are 8-18 at home.

Kevin Durant (31 points and eight rebounds) gave Oklahoma City a 113-112 lead with 17.2 seconds left on a driving lay-up. The lead didn't stand up as Nuggets forward Carmelo Anthony (32 points) nailed a short jumper with 4.3 seconds remaining. Durant missed a 25-footer at the buzzer.

The Thunder began the fourth quarter up 94-89. Oklahoma City, though, slowed down considerably in the second half after scoring 70 points by halftime. Jeff Green had 24 points for the Thunder and Russell Westbrook added 20.

Author: Fox Sports
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Added: February 6, 2009


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