Oklahoma City has basked in breathtaking weather since departing last Thursday for games in Oakland and Los Angeles. Temperatures in San Francisco were near 70, and the team didn't leave until Saturday at noon following Friday night's 120-109 victory over Golden State.
The Thunder stays in Santa Monica whenever it plays the Clippers or Lakers. Temperatures reached 80 on Saturday and Sunday, and beach area traffic has been significant.
OKC players were given Saturday off and had only a 45-minute session on Sunday morning at nearby Santa Monica High School. That was followed by roughly 20 minutes of stretching exercises, during which players laughed throughout.
“Look at those guys,” Thunder coach Scott Brooks said with a smile, looking at his team across the court and stopping mid-sentence during an interview. “Thunder U at its finest today.”
I LOVE LA (CLIPPERS)
Brooks attended nearby Cal State-Irvine and has family and friends scattered throughout the state. While visiting with them Saturday night, Brooks noticed an attitude change toward the normally maligned Clippers, who lead the Pacific Division.
“You can see the excitement in the city,” Brooks said. “They're an exciting team. People love the Clippers, and they're a fun team to love.”
NEW TURNOVER ‘LEADER'
Though the Thunder has won four straight and 11 of its last 12, point guard Russell Westbrook didn't hesitate when asked what the team was not doing well.
“Turnovers,” Westbrook said. “Taking care of the ball. That's part of my job to be able to do that, to keep everybody on the same page and keep everything under control.”
Westbrook led the NBA in turnovers last season but doesn't even lead his own team in turnovers this season. After committing 25 turnovers the first four games, Westbrook has lowered his average to 3.8 this season. He has 72 total turnovers. Fellow All-Star Kevin Durant has a team-high 74.
Thunder starting guard Thabo Sefolosha (sore right foot) and reserve forward Nick Collison (left knee) were held out of Sunday's light practice and are day-to-day. … With Chicago's 97-93 loss at Miami on Sunday, the Thunder (16-3) now has a two-game lead in the loss column for the NBA's best record. …While beating the quick-trigger Golden State Warriors on Friday, OKC lost its No. 1 position in opponent field-goal percentage and opponent 3-point percentage.
Brooks on the new-look Clippers: “The bar is raised. Now everybody's talking about the Clippers.”