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News » Oklahoma City Thunder Getting Inside 2009-02-08

Oklahoma City Thunder Getting Inside 2009-02-08

Oklahoma City Thunder Getting Inside 2009-02-08
The three-game losing streak Oklahoma City took into Friday night had one common trait, according to coach Scott Brooks. If toughness could be quantified in a stat, the Thunder had been on the short end.

"We didn't see as much as we need to see," Brooks said. "Going forward we need more of that. We need more of a toughness, a defensive mentality."

Brooks pointed to several breakdowns where toughness was lacking. The lack of focus on defensive assignments, getting beat off the dribble, uncontested jumpers and allowing unchallenged jumpers inside make the list.

"There's so many ways to describe toughness," Brooks explained. "Toughness is not roughing you up or wanting to fight you. I think toughness is making it hard on your opponent, and you have to do that by getting into them and playing with a lot of intensity."

Intensity hasn't been on issue on the offensive end. Brooks believes if players can bring it on one end, they can do the same on the other.

THUNDER 102, BLAZERS 93: The first-ever matchup between the top two players of the 2007 Draft turned out to be a one-sided affair as Kevin Durant scored 31 points to lead Oklahoma City to an impressive home Friday night win over Portland.

Blazers rookie center Greg Oden, picked ahead of Durant in 2007, had just four points in the matchup. Oklahoma City snapped a three-game losing streak and improved to 12-38 and 9-18 at home. The Blazers (30-19) came into the game fourth in the Western Conference.

Nick Collison (21 points and 13 rebounds) and Earl Watson (12 points and 11 assists) both managed double-doubles for the Thunder, which never trailed. Jeff Green added 20 points for Oklahoma City. Brandon Roy topped Portland with 32 points.

Author: Fox Sports
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Added: February 8, 2009


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