NAME THAT QUOTE
An NBA coach shared how he plans to monitor the playoff race through the end of the season:
“We'll watch it as coaches. We don't want to inundate the guys,” the coach said. “Everybody's talking about it. They hear it all the time. We have to concentrate on who we are and what we have to do to continue to get better. We're going to put all our energy and focus on what we can control and that's how we play.”
Though it sounds exactly like Brooks talking, it actually was Utah coach Tyrone Corbin, who is battling for the No. 8 spot along with Houston, the Los Angeles Lakers and Dallas, who are all within four games of each other.
At 7 p.m. Friday, the Thunder will face Orlando (18-47), which will be only the fourth sub-.500 team OKC has faced in its last 15 starts. … After Friday's game, the Thunder will play nine of its next 14 games on the road. … OKC is 13-2 on Fridays this season. … The Thunder is 21-1 and has won 20 straight against Western Conference opponents at Chesapeake Energy Arena this season, with the lone loss being against Memphis. OKC is just 8-3 against Eastern teams with losses to Atlanta, Brooklyn and Miami. … The Thunder is 4-4 all-time against Orlando and has beaten the Magic three straight times in OKC.
Utah Jazz guard Gordon Hayward on Wednesday night's loss to the Thunder: “We got embarrassed tonight. We're trying to get in the playoffs. We can't have games like this. We were down by 20-plus points and that's just stupid. We gotta execute our offense better. We got rattled and started second guessing ourselves.”