Thunder notebook: Free-throw shooting a strength

BY JOHN ROHDE, Staff Writer, jrohde@opubco.com Modified: November 10, 2010 at 11:44 pm •  Published: November 10, 2010
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The Thunder has struggled with its shooting early this season, but certainly not from the free-throw line.

The Thunder holds a comfortable lead as the NBA’s top free-throw shooting team and upped its team percentage to an astounding .873 after converting 35 of 37 free throws in a 109-103 victory over Philadelphia on Wednesday night inside Oklahoma City Arena.

“It’s not just because we practice it. Our guys are good free-throw shooters,” Thunder coach Scott Brooks said. “You don’t expect to make 35 out of 37 every night, but I feel we should be in the 80s as a team. It’s definitely an asset to have knowing that if the game is close, we can throw it to anybody and I feel confident they’re going to make the two shots (at the line).”

Kevin Durant led the barrage, going 16 for 16, and upped his season percentage to .914. Russell Westbrook had the team’s only two misses, going 9 for 11, and is now at .905 for the season.

TECHNICALLY SPEAKING

Durant’s technical foul against Boston last Sunday has been rescinded after the league’s review process. Referees whistled Durant for shoving Paul Pierce. What instigated the incident was Pierce grabbing and holding Durant’s right arm after a basket.

No hard feelings from Durant. “You can’t blame the refs,” Durant said. “They were doing what they thought was right. I respect that. Of course, I thought it should have gone the other way, but it’s over with now. It’s time to move forward.”

COLLEGIATELY SPEAKING

UCLA rules the roost with 14 players in the NBA, none of them rookies.

One of those products is Westbrook, who said he was not aware ex-Bruins led the league. “It doesn’t surprise me, though,” he added with a smile.

Asked if there was a playful competition among UCLA players, Westbrook said: “Not with me. Maybe with other people, but I don’t know.”

Alphabetically, here are the other 13 former Bruins in the league: Arron Afflalo (Denver), Trevor Ariza (New Orleans), Matt Barnes (LA Lakers), Darren Collison (Indiana), Baron Davis (LA Clippers), Jordan Farmar (New Jersey), Dan Gadzuric (Golden State), Jrue Holiday (Philadelphia), Ryan Hollins (Cleveland), Jason Kapono (Philadelphia), Kevin Love (Minnesota), Luc Mbah a Moute (Milwaukee) and Earl Watson (Utah). Thunder-76ers box score

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