Durant: ‘Our focus is better on the road.’One strong sign of how drastically things have changed for Oklahoma City in a year’s time is the Thunder’s performance on the road. With a win tonight at New Jersey, the Thunder will have already matched last season’s eight-win total on the road. "To be honest with you, I think our focus is a little bit better on the road than it is at home,” said Kevin Durant when asked how the team’s mindset has changed from last season. "I know that’s kind of difficult to say. . . We’re trying to find our balance between playing better at home and also playing on the road.” Following tonight’s game against the 2-28 Nets, the Thunder will play at Washington on Tuesday. Oklahoma City lost both road games against the Nets and Wizards last season. Russell Westbrook said the biggest key in this two-game set is defense. "That’s always the key for us,” Westbrook said. "When we defend, we put ourselves in a position to win games. That’s the biggest thing for us.”
MAYNOR ADJUSTING TO NEW TEAMMATESAfter two games, recently acquired rookie point guard Eric Maynor said his transition has been a good one thus far. He added that he’ll need a few weeks to jell with his new teammates. "Right now, I’m trying to learn everything,” Maynor said. (Coach Scott Brooks) is telling me to go out there and have fun and play hard. And if I do that, things will take care of itself.”
IBAKA PRESSING AT HOME?Rookie forward Serge Ibaka strung together four strong performance before Saturday night’s game against Charlotte, averaging 10.5 points and 8.5 rebounds in his previous four outings before the Bobcats game. But Ibaka went scoreless with three rebounds, three fouls and one turnover in 11 minutes against Charlotte. He missed all four of his shot attempts. "He’s had a great stretch of games,” Brooks said. "He probably wanted to have a better game at home, so he probably put a little bit of pressure on himself. I just told him to relax, let your offense come to you and make your energy take over the game.” Ibaka is averaging 4.8 points, 3.6 rebounds and 0.7 blocked shots at home. He’s averaging 5.2 points, 5.3 rebounds and 1.2 blocks on the road.
SCOUTING NEW JERSEYOne game after playing the offensively woeful Charlotte Bobcats, the Thunder walk into the IZOD Center tonight to face a Nets team that is the worst offensive team in the NBA. New Jersey is averaging only 89.8 points and is allowing 101 points per game, a league-worst 11.2-point differential. New Jersey also ranks last in field-goal percentage (41.7 percent), 3-point percentage (27.8 percent) and assists (16.7 per game). BY DARNELL MAYBERRY
Durant: ‘Our focus is better on the road.’