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Thunder notebook: Home, not-so-sweet home

By John Rohde, Staff Writer, jrohde@opubco.com Modified: November 29, 2010 at 11:59 pm •  Published: November 29, 2010
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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.


“You always want to have your home crowd go home happy,” Brooks said. “I 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.”

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).

COACH'S DREAM

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.

“I love winning basketball with toughness,” Brooks said. “That's what I'm about. That's what our team's about. That's what our city about — 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.”

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.

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