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Thunder notebook: GM Sam Presti says team won't use officiating as excuse for loss to Denver or in future

Oklahoman Modified: February 6, 2009 at 10:39 am •  Published: February 6, 2009
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The Thunder will not send any footage of the officiating from Wednesday’s game against Denver to the league office for review. Oklahoma City lost 114-113 following a disputed but legal play when Nuggets forward Carmelo Anthony retrieved the ball in the backcourt after tipping it in the frontcourt immediately following an inbounds pass with 17.2 seconds remaining. Anthony then hit the game-winner with 5.3 seconds left to play.

With the game tied at 111, however, the officiating crew of Dick Bavetta, Scott Wall and Sean Wright also let a kick ball call on Russell Westbrook stand following what video replay later proved to be a clean steal with 29 seconds left.

"Our focus is on our own play and performance,” Thunder general manager Sam Presti said. "Looking elsewhere will not help us move forward. We want to improve and grow from all of these fourth-quarter experiences and late-game situations. (Wednesday) night, we had opportunities to get the stops we needed throughout the game and down the stretch. But it starts and ends with us, not officiating.”

Said Thunder coach Scott Brooks, "We want to build our team on, ‘There’s no excuses.’”

BROOKS’ BAD
Brooks on Thursday took the blame for the Thunder’s final possession against the Nuggets, a chaotic and poorly executed play that ended with Kevin Durant heaving a 30-footer that hit the back of the rim.

Brooks said he would have liked for Westbrook to draw the defense with his dribble drive before passing to a would-be open Durant.

"Looking back at it, that was totally my fault,” Brooks said.


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