Last month, Dallas guard Jason Terry ruffled a few feathers when he labeled the Oklahoma City Thunder as the Mavericks' “little brother.”
On Wednesday night, the so-called little brother went into Dallas and spanked the Mavs with a dominant second-half defensive performance that resulted in a 95-86 win.
But even before the final outcome, Thunder coach Scott Brooks refuted Terry's comparison.
“I don't feel that way at all. I think we're a good team just like they are,” Brooks said. “They had a great year last year. But they had a lot of tough years prior to that. But one year; you have to keep doing it every year, hammer away at it and they've done a great job.”
Never one to enter into a war of words, Brooks continued to take the high road, praising Dallas for how it has sustained success — at least in the regular season — with 11 consecutive 50-win seasons.
“I think the strength of their team is their stability,” Brooks said. “They've been together a while. They did not break it up when things didn't go well…But I don't look at it as they're a big brother. I look at it as they're a very good team and we are, too. And we're going to keep fighting each other.”
When asked last month about the Thunder and Mavs, Terry was quoted by Dallas-area reporters as saying “It's a big brother-little brother scenario. It is what it is. They're good. They're up and coming and they're dangerous. When you got guys like (Russell) Westbrook and (Kevin) Durant on your ballclub, it's tough any time. They've beaten us a number of times. Now, if you want to say in a series, that would make some intensity come to the rivalry.”
PERKINS SPEAKS ON SACRIFICE
Prior to Wednesday's game at Dallas, center Kendrick Perkins attempted to clarify comments he made Monday night about the team needing to commit to more sacrifice.
“In order to take it to the next level guys have to sacrifice,” Perkins told The Oklahoman. “You can always win games, and with the talent that we got the majority of the nights we're definitely going to win games. But if you don't sacrifice within the team and think team then our goals and what we're really trying to accomplish are going to be even harder. Because at the end of the day, when you get in the playoffs you need everybody playing with a high confidence level.”
Perkins, when asked to elaborate, declined to go into detail about which specific areas the team needs to focus on in sacrificing.
“I'll leave it at this,” Perkins said. “Things that's known really don't have to be said. If you watch our games and watch what's going on and you know basketball, you know what areas I'm talking about.”