In the Thunder's 108-93 Sunday night win over Sacramento, Steven Adams fouled out in 19 minutes.
In the two games prior, Adams fouled out in both, only lasting 10 and 11 minutes.
“I tell him don't worry about your fouls,” Thunder coach Scott Brooks said. “Play the brand of basketball we need you to play: tough, physical, protector of the paint and rim.”
But as he moves forward this season, and in his career, Adams must learn to defend without fouling.
“It's hard to do for some of the bigs in this league,” Brooks said. “But as we go along together, we will figure out ways how he can stay out of it. But I don't tell him, ‘Hey, try to get 12 minutes tonight before you foul out and then build it up to 13.' Play aggressive, keep working and that stuff will improve as time goes on.”
FISHER HONORS MARTIN LUTHER KING
Derek Fisher took to center court before Sunday night's game, with the microphone and a message for Thunder fans.
Because OKC is off on Monday — Martin Luther King Jr. Day — Fisher wanted to publicly honor one of the country's most famous figures.
“Dr. King's message for understanding and equality for humanity is as important as it's ever been,” Fisher started his brief speech. “…We encourage you to take a moment to reflect on that impact,” Fisher concluded.
ISAIAH THOMAS CONTINUES TO LIGHT UP THE THUNDER
Despite the loss, Isaiah Thomas was impressive for the second time this season against the Thunder.
Back in Sacramento, the Kings' sparkplug point guard scored 21 fourth quarter points, nearly bringing his team back for a wild win.
And on Sunday, he was their only bright spot, dropping a career-high 38 points on 11-of-18 shooting.
“Isaiah Thomas is a hard cover,” Brooks said. “He is quick, offensive-minded, great shooter, great manipulator of the pick and roll.”
At one point, when Thomas already had 20 points midway through the second quarter, Kevin Durant got off the bench and barked, “Take the challenge” at Reggie Jackson, who was getting torched.
STAT OF THE NIGHT
The Sacramento Kings are now 0-13 all-time in games played in Oklahoma City: 0-10 against the Thunder, 0-3 against the Hornets.
Kings coach Mike Malone, pregame, when asked about guarding Kevin Durant: “I told our guys tonight there's no way he's getting 54. I just hope it's not 56.”
After an off-day on Monday, the Thunder get a pair of shots at the two Western Conference rivals ahead of them in the standings. OKC hosts Portland at 7 p.m. Tuesday, before traveling to San Antonio on Wednesday. The Thunder-Spurs game starts at 8:30 p.m.