OKC Thunder notebook: Kevin Durant, Scott Brooks happy to have Russell Westbrook locked up

BY DARNELL MAYBERRY, Staff Writer, dmayberry@opubco.com Published: January 21, 2012
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After the Wizards won the battle of the boards 52-43, the Thunder out-rebounded the Nets 55-46. Guard James Harden gobbled up a career-high nine rebounds, and Thabo Sefolosha recorded a season-high eight rebounds. Durant, though, has made it a point to pull down more boards.

“That's something that coach wants me to do,” said Durant, who added 20 points for his fifth double-double of the year. “He said I can get 10 a game, so I'm just going to try to go out there and get 10 and play as hard as I can on both ends of the floor. I think if I help the bigs out it'll make it much easier for us to push the ball and get easy points on the other end.”

NEW JERSEY LOVES THE THUNDER

Scores of Thunder supporters attended Saturday's game.

Oklahoma City jerseys, hats and sweatshirts were sprinkled throughout the Prudential Center, and every Thunder starter was showered with applause during pre-game introductions. During his last trip to the free throw line, Durant even received a chant of “M-V-P” from one fan.

“It feels good,” Durant said. “We came a long way. I remember my first year when we played in Oklahoma, we played these guys here and it wasn't hardly anybody in the stands. So a lot of people coming to support us makes us feel food. I'm excited that people are starting to like us and are starting to like us and come out to see us play.”

QUOTABLE

Durant on not playing in Madison Square Garden this season — “The Garden is legendary. We always have good games in the Garden.”

TIP-INS

Eric Maynor rejoined the team in New Jersey after undergoing season-ending knee surgery earlier in the week in New York…Westbrook received a technical foul in the fourth quarter for arguing about a no-call following a drive to the basket…New Jersey's scoring by quarter in the first three periods was 18, 17 and 16 …The Thunder went 16-for-24 from the free throw line. Durant missed four of his six free throw attempts…The Thunder's 10 blocked shots marked the third time this season that OKC has had at least 10 in a game.

UP NEXT

The Thunder will return to Chesapeake Energy Arena to play Detroit on Monday night. Tip-off is scheduled for 7 p.m.