LOS ANGELES — The game is two days away, but the trash talk began two weeks ago. Soon after the NBA announced its nine-man teams for the annual Rookie Challenge at All-Star Weekend, Thunder teammates Jeff Green, Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook began having some good-natured fun.
We think. "They’re already talking trash to one another about the rookie game,” said Thunder coach Scott Brooks. "Who’s going to get the first dunk on who. Talking about, ‘Don’t take it to the basket or you’re going to get fouled hard.’” After tonight’s game at Portland, the Thunder’s young trio will go from friends to foes as they head into the All-Star Weekend. Durant and Green will lead the sophomore team against Westbrook and the rest of the rookies. "I’m going to try to dunk on him,” Green said of Westbrook. "I’m going to try to foul him on the first play very hard and tell him that it’s not going to be easy.” Durant and Green will be joined on the sophomore team by Detroit’s Rodney Stuckey, Atlanta’s Al Horford, New York’s Wilson Chandler, Houston’s Aaron Brooks and Luis Scola, Philadelphia’s Thaddeus Young and the Los Angeles Clippers’ Al Thornton. Westbrook’s rookie teammates include Memphis’ O.J. Mayo and Marc Gasol, Portland’s tandem of Greg Oden and Rudy Fernandez, Chicago’s Derrick Rose, Miami’s Michael Beasley, New Jersey’s Brook Lopez and the Clippers’ Eric Gordon. "I think we’ve got a better team if you ask me,” Westbrook said.
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Thunder at Trail Blazers
→When: 9 tonight →Where: Rose Garden, Portland, Ore. →TV: Fox Sports Oklahoma (Cox 37) →Radio: WWLS-FM 98.1, WWLS-AM 640 →Live blog: http://blog.newsok.com/nbainokc Three things to know
→Oklahoma City defeated Portland 102-93 on Feb. 6 inside the Ford Center. →The Thunder is 3-6 against Northwest Divisional opponents. →Portland guard Brandon Roy averages 24.2 points and 5.9 assists at home against 20.9 points and 4.5 assists on the road. Projected starters