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OKC Thunder notebook: Thunder will not improve on winning percentage

It was a good run.
by Darnell Mayberry Published: April 13, 2014

It was a good run.

But the Thunder’s streak improving its winning percentage in five consecutive seasons will not extend to a sixth year. Oklahoma City’s 102-97 loss at Indiana on Sunday made sure of it.

The best the Thunder can do now is match last season’s 60-22 record. To do so, OKC must win its final two games.

Had the Thunder finished with 61 wins, it would have tied the NBA record for consecutive years of a franchise improving its winning percentage. The Minnesota Timberwolves hold the record.

Oklahoma City joins nine other franchises that improved their winning percentages in five straight seasons.

“Give our guys a lot of credit. They come back every year,” said Thunder coach Scott Brooks. “The expectations are high, but ours are higher. We don’t rest on what we’ve done. We focus on what we’re going to do. That’s been our mentality. That’s why we’ve improved over the years every year.

“We don’t listen to a lot of the things that are said about us. If you do, one day you’re good, one day you’re bad. And then you get confused and you’re on a roller-coaster ride. If you stay solid on what you do and what you believe in, and you’ve got good players and they’re going to continue to work hard together and for each other, you’re going to have success. And that’s been our model for six seasons now and that’s not going to change.”

In its inaugural season, the Thunder went 23-59, which was a three-game improvement over the franchise’s final year in Seattle. Oklahoma City then went 50-32, 55-27, 47-19 in the lockout-shortened, 66-game 2011-12 season and 60-22 last year.


Nick Collison and Reggie Jackson both had to leave Sunday’s game due to injuries.

Collison returned. Jackson didn’t.

And it was Indiana center Ian Mahinmi who was to blame for both.

Collison was taken to the locker room with 6:47 remaining in the second quarter after getting elbowed in the nose by Mahinmi as he attacked the rim. The hit resulted in blood gushing down Collison’s face for the second time in seven games. He also had to leave the April 3 home game against San Antonio after an elbow to his head required staples. This time, Collison needed eight stitches in his nose to sew up the wound. But he returned to the game late in the third quarter.

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