Russell Westbrook entered Sunday’s game against Orlando coming off a season-high 33 points at Houston. His point total was one shy of his career high and his 25 shot attempts were 13 more than his average through the first four games.
Westbrook’s priority had previously been to set up his teammates and control the pace of the game. But Westbrook’s aggressiveness at Houston signaled the balancing act the second-year point guard is trying to master between looking for his own offense and getting others involved. "He has to continue to work on that,” said Thunder coach Scott Brooks. "It’s a fine line, but it’s an important line for him to push at all times. He has to attack. We don’t want him to be a passive point guard.”
DEFENDING DWIGHT HOWARDThe Thunder fared much better against Orlando All-Star center Dwight Howard on Sunday at the Ford Center than it did last season when he recorded 30 points, 19 rebounds and 10 blocked shots in the Magic’s 109-92 win on Nov. 12. Howard scored 20 points with seven rebounds and didn’t have a blocked shot in 32 minutes. The Thunder defended Howard with Nenad Krstic and Etan Thomas but made sure throw another defender at him when he caught it deep in the post. Howard attempted 17 free throws but made just 10. Brooks said he didn’t have to watch last year’s film to prepare for this year’s match up. "It’s in my memory bank forever,” Brooks said, only half jokingly.
THUNDER PROTECTING AGAINST VIRUS