Thunder coach Scott Brooks said tonight's Blue & White open scrimmage at the Yukon High School gym will be a business trip.
"It's not an All-Star Game atmosphere," Brooks said after Thursday's practice. "We're there to get better. It's going to be a legitimate scrimmage. The teams are going to be evenly matched. Hopefully, the score indicates that. Coaches are ready. We're getting our game plans together."
Brooks said today will simulate a routine game day for the Thunder, with a team shoot-around at 10 a.m. at the practice facility.
The doors at Yukon open at 5 p.m., and admission is free. The scrimmage will start at 5:30 and finish around 6:45. Thunder players then will attend the pregame coin toss for Yukon's home football game against Norman North.
ANOTHER GAME WINNER
For the second straight day, the Thunder ended its morning practice with a late-game scrimmage. On Wednesday, All-Star forward Kevin Durant hit a game-winning shot with 0.7 seconds remaining. On Thursday, Durant swished a 27-footer with 2.3 seconds left with Jeff Green in his face.
Watching Durant's heroics is not getting old for Brooks.
"If it gets old, then you've got to do something else," Brooks said. "Great moments like that should never get old. Kevin has the ability to make big shots. Russell (Westbrook) has the ability to create big shots, and Jeff. Down the line, we have guys who can do that, but K.D. has developed into making big shots throughout the game."
Durant is quickly gaining notoriety and is the youngest scoring champion in NBA history, but he has yet to crack the top 15 in NBA jersey sales in Europe.
Based on sales from retail locations across Europe during the 2009-10 season, the most popular jerseys are as follows. Note the regional slant:
1. Kobe Bryant, Los Angeles Lakers; 2. LeBron James, Cleveland (now at Miami); 3. Dwyane Wade, Miami; 4. Pau Gasol, Lakers; 5. Kevin Garnett, Boston; 6. Andrea Bargnani, Toronto; 7. Jose Calderon, Toronto; 8. Dwight Howard, Orlando; 9. Dirk Nowitzki, Dallas; 10. Tony Parker, San Antonio; 11. Danilo Gallinari, New York; 12. Joakim Noah, Chicago; 13. Chris Paul, New Orleans; 14. Paul Pierce, Boston; 15. Carmelo Anthony, Denver.
Perhaps being named MVP at the FIBA World Championship in Turkey this summer will spike future sales for Durant.
Guards James Harden and Daequan Cook knocked heads during Thursday's practice. Both were examined and did not return. Their status for today's scrimmage is uncertain.... Until the Ford Center is renamed, the Thunder and NBA officially will refer to the facility as "Oklahoma City arena."... Single-game tickets for the first half of the season (through the Jan. 13 game against Orlando) go on sale Monday and can be purchased online at all Ticketmaster outlets, including Oklahoma City Homeland stores; and at the arena box office.