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Thunder has a brutal final two weeks

By John Rohde, Staff Writer, Modified: January 18, 2011 at 10:29 pm •  Published: January 18, 2011

The Thunder went 27-14 in the first half of this season. If coach Scott Brooks was given another 27-14 record in the second half of the season, would he take it?

“Ooh, that's a good question,” Brooks said with a grin and pausing. “But I'm not going to answer it. That'd be 54-28, but that's 14 losses we could have won.”

The Thunder and Utah are tied atop the Northwest Division at the halfway point and have split their first two regular-season meetings. The Thunder right now holds the No. 3 playoff seed in the Western Conference thanks to a better division record (6-1 vs. 3-4).

The second half begins with a key divisional game against Denver (23-17) inside the Pepsi Center today at 8 p.m.

What awaits the Thunder from here on out is a mix of good and bad, but the final two weeks of the season figure to be brutal.

The Thunder will play eight back-to-backs in the second half. Astoundingly, four of them come in the final 10 games of the season.

This includes a stretch of three straight back-to-backs from March 29-April 6, consisting of Golden State-Phoenix (home-away), Portland-Clippers (both away), Denver-Clippers (away-home), and that's followed four days later by a road back-to-back at the Lakers-Sacramento.

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