Oklahoma City Thunder: Kendrick Perkins, Thabo Sefolosha return in Thunder win over Nuggets

Oklahoma City appears at full strength with two preseason games remaining, Tuesday at Chicago and Wednesday vs. Dallas in Wichita, Kan.
By John Rohde Published: October 21, 2012
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photo - Oklahoma City's Thabo Sefolosha (2) drives the ball past Denver's Ty Lawson (3) during the NBA preseason basketball game between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the Denver Nuggets at the Chesapeake Energy Arena, Sunday, Oct. 21, 2012. Photo by Garett Fisbeck, The Oklahoman
Oklahoma City's Thabo Sefolosha (2) drives the ball past Denver's Ty Lawson (3) during the NBA preseason basketball game between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the Denver Nuggets at the Chesapeake Energy Arena, Sunday, Oct. 21, 2012. Photo by Garett Fisbeck, The Oklahoman

In posting its third straight preseason victory, the Thunder (3-2) once again shared the ball well with 25 assists, led by Russell Westbrook with nine. In its three victories, OKC has 85 assists, an average of 28.3 per contest. Last season, the Thunder averaged a league-worst 18.5 assists.

“Another step in the right direction for us,” Brooks said. “The last three games our passing has been really good for us. We're moving it, we're sharing it, we're coming off our screens hard, we're having great spacing so it allows us to make easier decisions.”

The Thunder shot 15 for 32 (. 469) from 3-point range.

“I really look at if we were open,” Brooks said when asked if that was too many attempts beyond the arc. “If we were driving and shooting 3s that were contested, that's not a good shot. But when they're open shots, I have no problem with that. We're a good 3-point shooting team when our feet are set, when we really make that drive-and-kick pass for a 3 and we did that tonight quite a few times.”

Particularly pleasing to Brooks was his reserves winning the fourth quarter 27-20 against a Nuggets lineup consisting primarily of their top seven players.

Reggie Jackson, Cole Aldrich, Daequan Cook and Perry Jones III played the entire fourth quarter, while DeAndre Liggin relieved Harden for the final 3:37.

“I tell the guys all the time, ‘Your job is to do your job. No matter who you're playing with, no matter what the score, no matter what time of the game it is, you still have to have an impact,' ” Brooks said.

OKC plays at Chicago on Tuesday in a game on NBA TV and plays at Wichita, Kan., on Wednesday against Dallas in a game televised by Fox Sports Oklahoma.



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