Thunder center Nenad Krstic has now missed six straight games and eight games overall this season with a lower back strain.
Krstic had shown progress, but was stiff and sore Tuesday morning and held out of the game. He has not ruled out possibly playing tonight at New York.
Krstic said he did not consider it a step back in the recovery process, but rather the result of an aggressive workout on Monday after 10 days of inactivity, which was followed by a 2 1/2-hour plane ride to Charlotte. â€œA bad combination,â€ Krstic said.
Asked if he feared the injury might be more serious than originally diagnosed, Krstic said, â€œNo, it's nothing serious.â€
BROWN IS BLUE
With the loss, the Bobcats (9-19) have lost four straight and six of their last seven.
â€œIt's my responsibility,â€ Charlotte hall-of-fame coach Larry Brown said. â€œWe look so disorganized. I love this game and I've learned from some terrific coaches and terrific players. I just felt bad that if anybody who really enjoyed the game would watch our team play. They'd look at me and say, â€˜That coach is not doing his job.' That's the thing I feel most bad about.â€
Brown on the Thunder: â€œThey're really well-coached. They play hard. They play both ends of the court. They share the ball. They know their roles. When you look at the future of our league, that's a team â€” if they keep the pieces together â€” they're going to be a championship contender for a long, long time. (Kevin) Durant and Carmelo (Anthony) probably score as easily as anybody in the league. (Russell) Westbrook is as dynamic as any point guard we have in the league. (Jeff) Green is very, very underrated.â€
Durant said Brown's remarks were, â€œA complete honor. That guy is such a great coach. I probably can speak for our coach (Scott Brooks), he looks up to Larry Brown. â€¦ For him to say that about us means a lot. When a guy like that says something that, we know we have to push even harder to try to get there.â€
The Thunder is now 3-3 on the front end of back-to-back games and is 4-1 on the back end heading into tonight's game at New York. OKC has 17 back-to-backs this season. â€¦ For the second straight game, Thunder reserve forward Eric Maynor swished a 3-pointer at the end of a quarter, only to have the basket waved off because the ball was in his hands when the buzzer sounded. â€¦ Bobcats owner Michael Jordan was not at the game. â€¦ The Thunder was 10 of 15 from the free-throw line in the first quarter and finished the game converting 20 of its last 21.
Brown, when asked if would consider changing his starting lineup to stop his team's slide: â€œI don't know about a lineup change. I think we need a personality change first. If you don't play hard, and you don't play together and you don't try to defend or rebound, you play like we've played.â€