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OKC Thunder notebook: Coach Kevin Durant excels against the Spurs

BY JOHN ROHDE, Staff Writer, jrohde@opubco.com Published: January 9, 2012
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Jackson replaced Eric Maynor, who was lost for the season after injuring his right anterior cruciate ligament Saturday night at Houston.

Judging from the reaction of teammates, Jackson's solid debut wasn't much of a surprise.

"He did aw-ight .... Nah, I'm just kidding," Thunder reserve center Nazr Mohammed said. "He impressed me this summer when we got together and were just working out. I knew he's got all the skills. He's a good guy. He's a student of the game. He watches stuff and sees things, so I expected that out of him."

OLD FRIENDS

Mohammed played for the Spurs for 1½ seasons and won the 2005 world title with them. His teammates that year included Tim Duncan, Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili.

"It's definitely good to see those guys," Mohammed said. "I had some great experiences over there. It's strange, the coaching staff is pretty much still intact from when I left, besides P.J. (Carlesimo, now an assistant with the New Jersey Nets). It was great to say, 'What's up?' to them."

OFF TO THE RACES

OKC outscored the Spurs 37-21 in the third quarter and had a 13-0 advantage in fast-break points.

"One of our keys to the game was transition defense," San Antonio starting guard Gary Neal said. "In that third quarter, they got started with the transition with Russell (Westbrook) and before you knew it, it was an eight-point game and then it was a 14-point game and a 20-point game. It kind of got away from us."

UP NEXT

Monday was a travel day to Memphis for the Thunder. OKC will have a late morning shoot-around Tuesday in preparation for the Grizzlies. The Thunder will fly to New Orleans afterward and face the Hornets at 7 p.m. Wednesday to close out a stretch of five games in six nights.


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