Oklahoma City Thunder notebook: Defense returns for Thunder

Coach Scott Brooks was particularly pleased with OKC's defensive intensity Thursday night in a 106-89 victory over Memphis.
By John Rohde Published: February 1, 2013

Though obviously bothered by the injury throughout the game, Martin still played 29 minutes and scored 16 points.

Martin is expected to play Saturday at Cleveland.

SOLID EFFORT

With new acquisitions Tayshaun Prince, Ed Davis and Austin Daye yet to be cleared from a Wednesday trade involving leading scorer Rudy Gay, the Grizzlies had just nine available players against the Thunder. One of them was center Jon Leuer, who was acquired eight days earlier and made only his second appearance with his new team, playing 4½ minutes.

Memphis players were pleased with their performance, given the circumstances.

“I was proud of the way we still fought,” point guard Mike Conley said. “We have had a lot of things go on in the last 24 hours and to play such a good team with seven, eight guys – it is tough. I am glad we held our heads high and came out there and gave them what we had.”

TIP-INS

With the victory over Memphis coming off Sunday's loss at the Los Angeles Lakers, the Thunder improved to 10-1 in “bounce-back” games following a loss this season. OKC is 45-10 (.818) in bounce-back games since 2010-11, second only to Chicago (46-8). … The Thunder shot 55.6 percent against the Grizzlies and is now 16-0 when shooting 50 percent or better from the field this season. Only San Antonio (19-0) has a better record shooting 50 percent. … With the Memphis result, OKC is now 11-0 when its opponent shoots less than 40 percent and 10-0 when it blocks 10-plus shots.

QUOTABLE

Thunder reserve forward Nick Collison on defending the 6-foot-9, 260-poundish Randolph: “Yeah, it's a challenge. It's definitely a challenge. … He's one of the toughest in the league to match up against. He's so much more physical than anybody else you play.”

BY JOHN ROHDE


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