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A Thunder first — a real streak

By John Rohde Modified: March 5, 2009 at 1:45 pm •  Published: March 5, 2009

/> “When you lose those kind of guys, it heightens the urgency a little bit,” Weaver said.

Plenty of NBA teams galvanize when they’re shorthanded.

The Thunder has done it wonderfully the last two games.

That works vice versa, too.

Three times earlier this year, the table was set for the Thunder to mop up on shorthanded teams of similar ilk — Golden State, the Los Angeles Clippers and Sacramento.

In December, the Warriors were without Stephen Jackson and Corey Maggette and won by 10 at the Ford Center.

In January, the Clippers were without Baron Davis, Marcus Camby, Zach Randolph and Chris Kaman and won by three at home.

In February, the Kings were without Brad Miller and Beno Udrih and won by four in overtime at home.

On Wednesday, the Thunder survived the battle of the shorthanded.

“It reinforces that if you do things the right way, you have a good chance to win, no matter who’s out there,” said Thunder forward Nick Collison, who had 12 points, 10 rebounds and didn’t miss a shot against the Wizards (5 for 5 from the field; 2 for 2 from the line). “Something like this proves that everybody in this league can play. A lot of this league is about opportunity.”

In what could have been a bleak time, lesser-known Thunder players have seized that opportunity.

Don’t look now, but the Thunder is 2-0 without Durant and Green in the lineup.

Brooks joked those two players will have to earn their way back into the starting lineup once they’re healthy.

“Nah, that’d be a quick way to get my job outta here,” said a smiling Brooks, flashing his thumb and gesturing like a baseball umpire.

John Rohde: 475-3099. John Rohde can be heard Monday-Friday from 6-7 p.m. on The Sports Animal Network, including AM-640 and FM-98.1.

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