OKC Thunder notebook: Suns' Goran Dragic and Thunder's Russell Westbrook still fierce rivals

Intensifying the matchup has been Dragic’s unwillingness to back down against Westbrook.
by Darnell Mayberry Published: April 6, 2014
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photo - Oklahoma City Thunder guard Russell Westbrook (0) looks at the scoreboard during the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Phoenix Suns on Sunday, April 6, 2014,in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Matt York)
Oklahoma City Thunder guard Russell Westbrook (0) looks at the scoreboard during the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Phoenix Suns on Sunday, April 6, 2014,in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Matt York)

Dragic also explained that he’s determined to stick in a dog-eat-dog business.

“It’s not only against him. It’s against everybody,” he said. “The NBA is really a tough league. Every year somebody else is coming for your spot. You have to defend yourself. You have to work hard for your spot. You’ve got 82 games and every game you have to play hard.”

HORNACEK FOR COACH OF THE YEAR?

Phoenix has exceeded all expectations this season by battling for a playoff spot, and the Suns’ success has placed coach Jeff Hornacek among the favorites for Coach of the Year.

“You give Coach Hornacek a lot of credit,” said Brooks, a former Coach of the Year. “He has come in here and put a system together and put their players in a position to execute every night. A lot of times you can listen to the noise out there and let it get to you, or you can ignore it and do what you do every day. And I think he has that approach. He puts their team in a position to win night in, night out.”

TIP-INS

The Thunder will have an off day Monday before playing Sacramento on Tuesday...Derek Fisher started the second quarter in place of Andre Roberson. Roberson was not injured. Brooks made the adjustment to match up better with Suns guards Dragic and Eric Bledsoe...Fox Sports Oklahoma sideline reporter Leslie McCaslin lost her voice during the pregame show. Play-by-play man Brian Davis had to fill in during the second segment.

by Darnell Mayberry
OKC Thunder Senior Reporter
Darnell Mayberry grew up in Langston, Okla. and is now in his third stint in the Sooner state. After a year and a half at Bishop McGuinness High, he finished his prep years in Falls Church, Va., before graduating from Norfolk State University in...
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