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News » Thunder fires Carlesimo, then loses 11th in a row

Thunder fires Carlesimo, then loses 11th in a row

Thunder fires Carlesimo, then loses 11th in a row
With the Oklahoma City Thunder off to an NBA -worst 1-12 start, Carlesimo was fired as coach Saturday and replaced on an interim basis by assistant Scott Brooks.

The firing followed a 105-80 loss to the New Orleans Hornets on Friday night, the Thunder's 10th straight setback.

Oklahoma City lost 109-97 to the Hornets in New Orleans on Saturday night in Brooks' first game in charge.

General Manager Sam Presti said Brooks would finish the season.

"This isn't about one person," Presti said. "There's accountability for everybody involved players, coaches, myself and anyone involved with our Basketball team. We understand that."

The Thunder also let go assistant Paul Westhead, who guided the Phoenix Mercury to the 2007 WNBA title and won an NBA title in 1980 with the Los Angeles Lakers.

Carlesimo was expected to produce a winner around Kevin Durant, but he never really stood a chance. Carlesimo inherited a roster shredded by the trades of stars Ray Allen and Rashard Lewis after a decision to rebuild.

"We have to get better no matter who the coach is," Durant said. "To start off like we did my first year and now this year is tough to deal with. If we continue to work hard, things will start to turn around for us."

Carlesimo had questioned his team in recent games for failing to give full effort, performances resulting in a string of blowouts.

"Things aren't good," Brooks said. "It's a challenge to get our guys motivated to play every night. ... Our team needs direction. I have clear plans to make this team play with much more energy and passion."

Saturday, David West scored 33 points and Chris Paul had 29 points, 16 assists and 10 rebounds to lead the Hornets.

"It was better than last night, but we still have a long ways to go," Oklahoma City center Nick Collison said. "At least our energy was better."

Durant led Oklahoma City with 30 points on 11-of-16 shooting.

Suns 102, Trail Blazers 92: Shaquille O'Neal had 19 points and 17 rebounds to power Phoenix past Portland.

Amare Stoudemire added 17 points, Steve Nash had 16 on 6-for-7 shooting, and Grant Hill scored 15 for the Suns.

O'Neal's performance included a head-first dive over the first two rows of seats trying to save a loose ball with 2:55 to play.

Brandon Roy scored 26 points for Portland. Greg Oden, in his first matchup against the massive O'Neal, had five points, one rebound and five fouls in 14 minutes off the bench.

Knicks 122, Wizards 117: Quentin Richardson had 34 points and 12 rebounds for New York. Richardson hit seven three-point shots.

Antawn Jamison had 29 points and 13 rebounds for Washington, which lost its fifth straight and fell to 1-10, the franchise's worst since the 1966 Baltimore Bullets also opened 1-10.

Cavaliers 110, Hawks 96: LeBron James led Cleveland to its ninth win in 10 games, scoring 24 points. James added eight assists, seven rebounds and a few more highlight-package dunks to help the Cavaliers (10-3) match their best start since the 1988-89 season.

Rockets 100, Magic 95: Yao Ming had 22 points and 13 rebounds to help Houston win for the fourth time in five games and snap Orlando's winning streak at five games.

Magic All-Star center Dwight Howard wasn't much of a factor because of foul problems. He finished with 13 points and nine rebounds.

Heat 109, Pacers 100: Dwyane Wade shook off flu-like symptoms to score 38 points for Miami.

Author: Fox Sports
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Added: November 23, 2008


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