Tuesday's practice represented a fresh start for the Thunder thanks to two fresh faces.
The arrivals of guards Derek Fisher and Ronnie Brewer broke some of the mid-season monotony that often coincides with the dog days of January and February in the NBA. The team's first outing with the new arrivals in uniform was a 119-74 romp over the New Orleans Hornets (20-39), who were incredibly shorthanded without rookie center Anthony Davis (sprained shoulder) and guard Eric Gordon (rest).
The 45-point victory matches the Thunder's largest of the season (114-69 over Charlotte on Nov. 26) and marks the first time since 1994 the SuperSonics/Thunder franchise posted back-to-back victories by 30-plus points. OKC (42-15) defeated Chicago 102-72 on Sunday.
Brewer started the fourth quarter and finished with five points and two steals. Fisher did not score in 20½ minutes, shot 0 for 4 (all from 3-point range) and has two assists.
Asked if the presence of Fisher and Brewer might end up being better than even he anticipated, Thunder coach Scott Brooks said: “I knew what we were getting with Fish, but it's definitely (that way) with Brewer. I still have to understand how he's going to fit in. … It's going to be a feel thing. I want to make sure we put him in a good position and he's comfortable and I'm comfortable and the team's comfortable. All that being said, there's not a lot of minutes to be had.
“In order to be on a good team, you have to have good players, and when you have good players, somebody has to play less minutes than the others.
The backup point guard, the way we play, is not a statistical position. It's a position of connection. It's a position of ability to impact the game and winning ways that it doesn't show up on the stat sheet.”
What did Thunder starting guard Thabo Sefolosha like most about Wednesday's performance?
“Everything,” He said. “The way we talk, the way we play with passion, and the way we share the ball offensively. I think we feed off of our defense and I think that is great.”
OKC, which has led the NBA in free-throw percentage the last three seasons, made its first 25 free-throw attempts Wednesday and finished 27 for 28 (.964).