Newly reacquired guard Derek Fisher has won five world championships, but one trait Thunder coach Scott Brooks said he appreciates most is Fisher's ability to keep a low profile.
“I always say that sometimes you have to know when not to get in the way,” Brooks explained. “It takes years of knowing that. You want to put your imprint on the game, and sometimes your imprint is to stay in the corner and to wait and be disciplined and be patient with the other guys, and he (Fisher) understands that as well as anybody I've ever been around.”
Brooks said the imprint of fellow newcomer Ronnie Brewer also has been immediately noticeable.
“Brewer creates excitement because he brings nothing but team chemistry and team spirit,” Brooks said. “He's been in programs that have (those) beliefs and built their organizations on that. He's just another winning player.”
Three-time scoring champ Kevin Durant freely admits he's looking forward to what Fisher and Brewer have to offer.
“I've been anxious since we got them to see them play, to see how they're going to fit in with us, how coach is going to use them,” Durant said.
Good thing Brewer was traded from the New York Knicks last week, or he likely would have been assigned at some point to defend Golden State's Stephen Curry on Wednesday night — or at least try.
Curry erupted for a career-high 54 points against the Knicks in a 109-105 loss at Madison Square Garden. It is the third most points scored by an opposing player in MSG history, trailing 61 from Kobe Bryant in 2009 and 55 from Michael Jordan in 1995. Curry also had seven assists, six rebounds and three steals while playing all 48 minutes.
Curry shot 18 for 28 from the field, including a remarkable 11 for 13 from 3-point range, just shy of the NBA record of 12 3-pointers shared by Bryant and Donyell Marshall.
Curry's point total was the NBA high this season, which previously was Durant's 52-point game at Dallas.
Several Thunder players watched the completion of the game inside their locker room immediately after disposing of New Orleans 119-74 at Chesapeake Energy Arena.
With its 45-point victory over the Hornets, the Thunder's league-leading point differential jumped from 9.1 to 9.7. San Antonio is second at 8.2. … OKC is 12-2 against the Pacific Division, 11-3 against the Southwest, but only 6-3 in its own Northwest Division. The Thunder has seven Northwest games remaining, starting at 9:30 p.m. Friday at Denver. … According to espn.com's roster listings, Brewer will make $854,389 and Fisher $261,343 with OKC this season. The Thunder never discloses salaries. … After going 130 for 138 (. 942) at the free-throw line the last five games, OKC's league-leading team free-throw percentage has risen to .836. The season record is .832 by the 1989-90 Boston Celtics. The Thunder also leads the league in points (106.8) and blocks (7.6).
Durant on how quickly Fisher and Brewer have blended in as teammates: “Fish, it feels like he never left (after being with the team last season). Ronnie, it feels like he's been here the whole year. That's the best part about it. They fit in so well. They don't have any egos. They're humble guys and they just want to play, so it's a blessing having them on our team.”