With Monday night's 95-89 victory over New Orleans, the Thunder is now 6-4 inside Oklahoma City Arena this season, but coach Scott Brooks doesn't buy into the theory his team might be feeling more pressure at home trying to please its fans.
â€œYou always want to have your home crowd go home happy,â€ Brooks said. â€œI don't feel that we have more pressure. We've just had some tough losses against good teams. You'd still like to give yourself a chance to win those tough games, and we've got to do a better job of that.â€
In addition to the Hornets, the Thunder has lost at home to Utah by 21, Boston by nine, San Antonio by 13 and Dallas by eight. Those five teams have a combined record of 54-15 (.783).
The Thunder is 6-2 on the road against teams with a combined record of 54-46 (.540).
Monday's win might have left Brooks gloating a little bit. Like most coaches, Brooks constantly preaches how defense can often win games when a team's offense is struggling.
The Thunder shot 37.8 percent from the field (32.4 percent in the second half) and committed 18 turnovers, yet still was able to beat a 12-4 team that was the league's lone unbeaten this season at 8-0.
â€œI love winning basketball with toughness,â€ Brooks said. â€œThat's what I'm about. That's what our team's about. That's what our city about â€” playing tough basketball, winning games with toughness. We're fortunate to get out of the gym with a win. It's good when you see guys committed to the team and just leaving it on the floor, not having a good shooting night and not letting it affect the other end of the floor.â€
HOME NO MORE
The novelty of Oklahoma City serving as the New Orleans Hornets' temporary home from 2005-07 seems to have all but disappeared. Crowd reaction during pre-game introductions drew only polite applause for Chris Paul and David West.