The Thunder plays New Jersey in Newark today at 6 p.m. Oklahoma time. The Nets have left the Izod Center at the Meadowlands and are playing inside the Prudential Center (home of the NHL New Jersey Devils) pending the 2012 completion of the new Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y.
Coming off a 12-70 season, the Nets are currently 6-12 after losing at New York on Tuesday night.
â€œAvery (Johnson) does a great job,â€ Brooks said of the Nets' new coach. â€œHe has them playing tough-minded basketball. They've got a big-time center in Brook (Lopez), a terrific point guard in Devin (Harris). They've got some shooters around them. They've got the young fella (rookie forward Derrick Favors), who's going to be a very big player in this league. We have to go out there and play like we've played all season long on the road, take the challenge and it's going to be a good challenge for us.â€
THABO SEFOLOSHA TO HOST BASKETBALL CAMP
Thabo Sefolosha will host a basketball camp on behalf of the Wes Welker Foundation on Dec. 28.Â One hundred high school boys fromÂ eight different Oklahoma City public schools will be attending the camp at Douglass High School from 3-6 p.m.
Other Thunder players, coaches and staff will stop by to help out and serve as guest coaches.
THUNDER'S MARCH TO THE FREE-THROW LINE CONTINUES
As has often been the case this season, opponents are shaking their heads at the Thunder's performance at the free-throw line, both in attempts and makes. Monday night's 95-89 victory over New Orleans at Oklahoma City Arena was no different as the Thunder converted 26 of 29 (89.7 percent) and the Hornets hit 11 of 17 (64.7 percent).
â€œYou try to make more free throws than the other team attempts,â€ Hornets point guard Chris Paul said. â€œThey made more than we attempted.â€
Although Kevin Durant struggled from the field going 7 for 22 and 0 for 5 from 3-point range, he converted 12 of 13 free throws. Meanwhile, Paul had four free throw attempts, one coming on a Serge Ibaka technical foul and three coming on a late-game 3-pointer where it appeared Paul flopped to draw the foul.
â€œHe (Durant) shot 13 free throws,â€ Paul said, studying the game's stat sheet. â€œUm, I'm speechless. I don't know what to say. I like to think I'm somewhat aggressive, and I got four.â€
The Thunder continues to lead the NBA in free-throw percentage at a record-setting pace of 85.4 percent.
DURANT'S DEFENSE KEPT WEST FROM â€˜CLEAN LOOKS'
In the fourth quarter, Hornets All-Star forward David West shot just 2 for 8 from the field, had six straight misses and found himself being defended by the 7-foot-5 wingspan of Durant.
â€œThe idea was to make me finish. I wasn't able to get clean looks,â€ West said. â€œI thought he did a good job of forcing me to toward the other big guy on the back side. That ultimately was the difference.â€
The grand opening of the new Thunder Shop inside Oklahoma City Arena is today at 10 a.m. Game tickets will be given away to shoppers who spend more than $100, while supplies last.
The new store is almost twice as large as the former shop with four times as much merchandise. Daytime hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday, plus the same hours on the first three Saturdays of December for holiday shopping.
The Thunder, which plays 17 back-to-backs this season, is now 4-0 on the back end. â€¦ With his 0 for 5 shooting performance against the Hornets, Ibaka slipped from No. 1 in field-goal percentage in the NBA to No. 6.
â€œEverybody would love a 20-point win every night, but some nights you still have to win like this. It just shows our character and how we have been progressing this season.â€ â€“ Thunder forward Jeff Green on Monday night's come-from-behind victory over New Orleans.