Honorary Thunder assistant coach Lorelei Decker attended Tuesday's practice and apparently confronted her boss and some players on how they can improve.
Coach Scott Brooks joked that the 18-year-old Decker scolded him about the technical foul he received late in the third quarter of Sunday's 103-83 victory against Portland at Chesapeake Energy Arena. And Decker didn't stop there.
“She told me to work on my game,” three-time All-Star Russell Westbrook said with a smile.
“Nope, she just said we need to win. That's it,” Westbrook said.
Decker got on Brooks about his technical foul. Did she get on Westbrook, who has 11 this season?
“No, she didn't get on me about mine,” Westbrook said. “I don't think she knows.”
Decker was diagnosed with Hodgkin lymphoma during the second semester of her senior year at Putnam City North High School, when she was 17. During the 2011-12 season, the Thunder teamed up with the Make-A-Wish Foundation and granted Decker her wish to serve as a Thunder assistant coach for a day.
Last October, Brooks skipped his team's Blue and White scrimmage in Bixby to accompany Decker to a Make-A-Wish awards ceremony in Phoenix after the Thunder had been selected as one of its Chris Greicius Celebrity Award recipients.
OFF THE WALL
Washington Wizards point guard John Wall is coming off a career-high 47 points in Monday night's home victory against the Memphis Grizzlies.
The highest individual point totals for opponents against the Thunder so far this year: Houston's James Harden (46 points on Feb. 20); Miami's LeBron James (39 on Feb. 14); New York's J.R. Smith (36 on March 7); and Cleveland's Kyrie Irving (35 on Feb. 2).
The Wizards had just nine players available for Monday's victory against Memphis and might have the same number available against OKC.
Battling injuries are: center Nene' (knee/wrist/shoulder), guard Bradley Beal (ankle), forward Trevor Ariza (flu), guard A.J. Price (groin) and forward Martell Webster (strained abdominal).
Thunder guard DeAndre Liggins and center Daniel Orton were assigned to the Tulsa 66ers of the NBA Development League in time to play in Tuesday night's game against the Rio Grande Valley Vipers in Hidalgo, Texas. … OKC is 9-3 at home against Eastern Conference teams this season and 18-7 overall. … After Wednesday's game, the Thunder will have six road games and four home games remaining in the regular season. … Despite the Wizards' woes the last several seasons, OKC is just 5-3 against Washington all-time, including a 101-99 loss Jan. 7. … In its last eight wins at home, the Thunder has an average victory margin of 22.0 points. … OKC is 14-2 when committing 12 or fewer turnovers.
The Thunder will hold its fifth annual Military Appreciation Night when OKC faces Washington at 7 p.m. Wednesday at Chesapeake Energy Arena. The nation's troops and veterans will be honored, and festivities will include a special Thunder Cares auction and raffle, in-game recognition of military personnel and a T-shirt offer.
Nearly 500 military personnel and families will be in attendance, including 80 soldiers and family members from the Oklahoma National Guard's 45th Fires Brigade.
As part of its Devon Community Heroes program, the Thunder will honor six military heroes, including three who lost their lives. Families of these six heroes will receive scholarships through the Folds of Honor Foundation, a Tulsa-based organization that supports the families of killed or wounded soldiers across the country. The scholarships have been funded by donations from Thunder fans collected during last October's preseason game in Tulsa.
The Thunder Cares Foundation will hold a special auction and raffle during the game, benefiting the Folds of Honor Foundation. Fans will have the opportunity to purchase a Thunder “Rise Up for Freedom” T-shirt for $12 at the Thunder Shop outside Section 120. With each T-shirt purchased, the Thunder will donate an identical T-shirt to troops stationed overseas.
The Thunder will collect and mail letters of support to troops stationed abroad. During the game, fans can stop by the table outside Section 120 to write letters of thanks and encouragement. Prior to the game, Chaplain (Maj.) Brad Hanna of the Oklahoma National Guard will lead the invocation, and members of the Oklahoma National Guard will present the colors.
The halftime presentation will feature the Southeast High School JROTC silent drill team. During their exhibition, the Thunder will honor all Oklahomans killed in action overseas in the last 10 years.