The Thunder on Monday assigned rookie forward Perry Jones III to the NBA D-League's Tulsa 66ers. Jones has appeared in 10 games for the Thunder and averaged 1.2 points and 1.4 rebounds in 7.6 minutes.
“It's going to be a great opportunity for him to get good practice time and game time,” said Thunder coach Scott Brooks. “I don't know how many games he's going to get, but it's a great opportunity. He needs it. He wasn't playing many minutes for us, and there's a stretch of days where we're not going to have a lot of practice time. Even when we do it's not going to be long practices. But I think he's going to have to go down there and get better. (Coach) Darko (Rajakovic) does a great job with the Tulsa program, and he's going to get some quality practice and get some good game minutes.”
DURANT NAMED PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Kevin Durant has been named Western Conference Player of the Week for the second time in three weeks, the league announced Monday.
Durant led the Thunder to a 4-0 record from Nov. 26 through Dec. 2 and compiled averages of 25 points, 6.3 rebounds, 3.5 assists and 2.5 blocked shots. Durant shot 60.7 percent from the field, 46.2 percent from beyond the 3-point line and 89.7 percent from the free throw line.
In the Thunder's 120-98 win over Houston on Nov. 28, Durant scored a season-high tying 37 points with seven rebounds.
Durant is averaging 26.2 points, 8.7 rebounds and 4.3 assists this season.
SCOUTING THE NETS
The Thunder closes a two-game road trip against the new-look Nets on Tuesday night inside the brand new Barclays Center.
Brooklyn comes in at 11-5 after winning five of its past six. The Nets are currently in third place in the Eastern Conference and 7-1 at home.
“Brooklyn has a lot of good players,” Brooks said. “They've got a very good point guard and they've got great wing players.
“They have a very good team. There's a reason why their record's good. We have to be able to guard our man. They've got some good isolation players and good one-on-one players. We have to be able to stop them and have individual defensive pride. It has to be a defensive game (Tuesday) night.”
BACK TO SCHOOL
The Thunder held practice on the campus of Columbia University on Monday afternoon, bringing back memories for many players who are not far removed from their college days.
Several student-athletes got to meet and greet Thunder players, and the men's basketball team took the court shortly after the Thunder wrapped up its session.
“I look up to these guys, they're still in school,” said Durant as he stood on the baseline while the men's team took the court and began full-court sprints. “They're on pace to get a degree and I don't have one of those. It's good to see student-athletes come out here and work hard toward something they love. It makes you miss college a little bit. So it's cool to get in here.”
THUNDERSTRUCK ON DVD
Durant's feature-length movie, ‘Thunderstruck,' will be released Tuesday online and in stores across the country.
The movie, which was released in select theaters Aug. 24, features Durant playing himself and mysteriously switching talent levels with an uncoordinated high school kid.
The DVD release will include special features such as Durant and co-star Taylor Gray discussing the film, an interview with James Belushi and deleted scenes.
Nets starting center and leading scorer Brook Lopez is day-to-day with a sprained foot. … Before Monday's games, the Thunder led the league in points per game with a 105.1 average. The Nets ranked second in points allowed at 91.1 per game. …The Thunder has won six straight against the Nets. OKC's last loss to the Nets was Nov. 12, 2009. … Nets part owner Jay-Z turns 43 on Tuesday.
Thunder forward Nick Collison when asked how many dunks he had in Saturday's win at New Orleans — “I think I had 3 1/2. Yeah. One was, like, maybe a dunk. I hope I get credit for a dunk. The last time I had that many dunks in a game was probably the 1900s, when I was in high school.”