Thunder notebook: A sign of improvement

By Darnell Mayberry, Staff Writer Modified: December 30, 2009 at 11:48 am •  Published: December 30, 2009
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The Thunder entered Tuesday’s game against Washington having already matched its eight total road victories from last season, and more and more the team’s improvement is being recognized at each stop. Oklahoma City limped into the Verizon Center 3-27 one year and two days ago and lost 104-95 to the Wizards.

But when asked about the difference in his team’s enhanced performances on the road, Thunder coach Scott Brooks said OKC is simply a better team.

"We’ve been together for another year, and Sam (Presti) has added some good pieces and the guys are improving,” Brooks said. "We’re a better team than we were last year, but we should be. If they’re not improving then we’re not doing our job.”

Mullens to see spot minutes
Byron Mullens made his NBA debut inside the final minute of the Thunder’s 105-89 blowout of the Nets on Monday night at New Jersey. Brooks said he wanted to give the rookie center more time than the 40 seconds he played but didn’t want to call a late timeout out of respect to the Nets. Mullens, however, could begin to receive an opportunity in similar late-game situations, Brooks said.

"I’m happy with it,” Mullens said of his debut. "I’ve got to start somewhere. I’m glad I started with 40 seconds. It’s better than none. My teammate, Serge (Ibaka), that’s how he started out, with a few seconds at the end and he’s getting a lot of reps now.”

Mullens said his stint on the court was too brief to get a feel for how much different the NBA game is but said he was more excited because of the atmosphere.

Mama knows best?
Durant did something Tuesday that he hasn’t done all season.

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