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News » Oklahoma City Thunder Getting Inside 2009-03-16

Oklahoma City Thunder Getting Inside 2009-03-16

Oklahoma City Thunder Getting Inside 2009-03-16
The Thunder just broke the seal on an extended stretch of challenging games. The 11-game run features nine contests against playoff-caliber competition, with Saturday's trip to Phoenix just the second game in the stretch.

"We're just looking at it as an opportunity to see where we're at right now," Thunder center Nenad Krstic said.

Oklahoma City recently enjoyed a 5-1 stint, with three of those wins coming against non-playoff teams. Wins over the next couple of weeks won't come easy.

On tap are the Spurs (twice), Bulls, Jazz, Lakers, Celtics and Blazers. The Timberwolves and Raptors are the only two non-playoff teams coming up, and both of those games are on the road.

"I've always focused on how we're going to get better today, and I still will do that," OKC coach Scott Brooks said. "But the challenge I will throw at all our guys is that when we play these teams, they're fighting for playoff position. They're playing for something in March and April.

"So it's a good challenge for us to play against these playoff teams. Knowing that we will not be in the playoffs, this gives us an opportunity to play some games against teams that know it's important for them to win."

SUNS 106, THUNDER 95: Kevin Durant was back and Oklahoma City was in good shape early in the fourth, but a series of missed opportunities help Phoenix pull away in the final few minutes. The Thunder (18-48) return home to face San Antonio on Monday after a 1-2 road trip.

OKC's entire starting five hit double figures, led by Durant's 22 points and Russell Westbrook's 20. The Thunder only got 13 points off their bench. Suns reserve Leandro Barbosa had 22 by himself.

OKC had a nine-point lead after the first quarter and took a six-point edge into the half. The game was tied going into the final period, and the Thunder were down just one (88-87) midway through the quarter. Phoenix responded with an 8-0 run to put the game out of reach.

Author: Fox Sports
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Added: March 16, 2009


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