OKC Thunder on pace for first 60-win season

by Darnell Mayberry Published: March 22, 2013

With a 97-89 win Friday night at Orlando, the Thunder is again on pace to win 60 games, which would be the first 60-win season in the franchise's Oklahoma City era.

The Thunder would need to go 9-3 in its final 12 games to finish with exactly 60 wins.

“It would mean a lot,” said Kevin Durant. “It'll be tough to do. But we just got to continue to build on the little things as far as screening, getting deflections and containing at the rim and keeping the ball in front of us. If we do that we'll be pretty good.”

Russell Westbrook also said reaching the 60-win plateau is important to the Thunder but added the team's main focus is on preparing for the postseason.

“Our job is to try to get better and play better basketball leading to the postseason.”

Thunder coach Scott Brooks talked about winning to maintain ground in the playoff race as opposed to simply registering 60 wins.

“The playoff race is so tight. There's going to be a game that separates four or five teams,” Brooks said. “So you can't really focus on that. You just have to focus on the next game and playing well. Whatever we end up with, we're going to end up with a very good record.”

THUNDER SLUMPING FROM 3-POINT RANGE

In the four games prior to Friday's at Orlando, the Thunder had shot just 19.5 percent from the 3-point line. Over the past seven games, that number was just 25.4 percent.

“They're open 3s,” Brooks said. “It's one of the things that we look back at. You don't want to take a contested shot. You want to always find a better shot unless it's late in the shot clock. But those 3s that we missed — 4-for-25 and 2-for-18 — you're going to have that. Hopefully we can get out of it because we're a good 3-point shooting team. I said it last game that more than likely we're going to break out of it and go on a nice hot streak.”

Against the Magic, the Thunder made just five of 21 3-pointers, a 23.8 percent connection rate.

LOOKING FOR BETTER BALL MOVEMENT

The Thunder registered a season-low nine assists against Memphis on Wednesday and, perhaps non-coincidentally, shot a season-low 35.7 percent.

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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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