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John Rohde: Time to forget last season

By John Rohde Modified: January 12, 2010 at 8:35 am •  Published: January 12, 2010

/> We’ve heard this all before, probably because it happens to be true.

Against the Knicks, the Thunder worked hard, meshed well, defended, rebounded (for the most part) and scored off its defense, just like Brooks said his players should.

The Thunder trailed for a total of 24 seconds Monday night. Its biggest lead was 29 (100-71).

Visiting reporters also had several questions about pending all-star Kevin Durant, who responded with 30 points before a crowd of 17,152 inside the Ford Center.

Brooks went 10 deep on his roster against the Knicks, which included six minutes from rookie center Byron Mullens. The Thunder bench combined for 37 points, 16 rebounds, seven assists and six steals.

The Knicks (15-22), meanwhile, were held to their second-lowest point total of the season.

"I like what we’re doing defensively," Brooks said afterward. "I’m not going to say we’re satisfied, because we gave up 11 offensive rebounds in the first half. We just keep taking little steps on the defensive end. We’re improving. We’re going to have to keep improving. We want to continue to get better, because that’s where we’re staying in games and winning games is on the defensive end."

Yada, yada, yada.

Hey, as long as the Thunder keeps winning, Brooks and Co. can yada all they want.

"I thought it was a solid game,” Brooks said. "In the third quarter, three or four times offensively in transition we tried to get too cute and that wasn’t good basketball. I called a timeout and made sure I told our guys to keep playing good basketball — solid and respectful basketball — and we got back on track.”

Respectful basketball? Hmmm, I’ve never heard that phrase before, but it allows another comparison between this season and last season.

So far, this year has been respectful basketball. Last year was not.

Box score from Monday's game