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Oklahoma City Thunder notebook: Houston loss overshadows Thabo Sefolosha's career game

Thunder shooting guard Thabo Sefolosha had a career-high 28 points Wednesday night at Houston, but the bad news far outweighed the good as OKC lost 122-119 at Toyota Center.
By John Rohde Modified: February 21, 2013 at 8:32 pm •  Published: February 21, 2013

Thunder shooting guard Thabo Sefolosha had a career-high 28 points Wednesday night at Houston, but the bad news far outweighed the good as OKC lost 122-119 at Toyota Center.

“It's good,” Sefolosha said. “I'm not going to lie. I'm happy with the way I played, but at the same time it came with a loss.”

Sefolosha also had a career-high in 3-point field goals (six), 3-point attempts (10) and made field goals (11), which came in just 16 attempts.

“It was fun to see Thabo have a great offensive game,” Thunder coach Scott Brooks said. “Everything was clicking for him offensively, but when you have a game like that, the worst thing is losing. I know Thabo and he's not happy scoring 28 points and losing the game. … I believe in what he does. I like it when he takes shots.”

GETTING TECHNICAL

The Thunder has narrowed its deficit with the Los Angeles Clippers for the most technical fouls in the NBA. The Clippers lead the league with 71 and OKC has 66. New York is third with 53.

The technical foul standings for the Thunder: Kevin Durant 11, Kendrick Perkins 9, Russell Westbrook 8 (one rescinded), Serge Ibaka 5, Hasheem Thabeet 3, DeAndre Liggins 2, Nick Collison 1, Reggie Jackson 1, Kevin Martin 1, Sefolosha 1, Brooks 1.

ROAD KILL

The Thunder's normally reliable defense has struggled on the road the last 10 games, during which OKC owns a 4-6 record.

“We're giving up too many points, giving up too many easy opportunities. We have to do a much better job,” Brooks said. “Normally, that's not who we are, so it has kind of surprised me the last few games. We understand there are going to be moments like that, but defensively we have to be much better. You have to really dial in, lock in down court. You give a team easy baskets, all the sudden the tough baskets become easier.”

A breakdown of the last 10 road games:

W-L

OPPONENT

FG-A (PCT.)

3FG-A (PCT.)

PTS

W

Dallas

41-91 (.451)

7-20 (.350)

114

L

Denver

45-93 (.484)

8-18 (.444)

121

W

LA Clippers

39-84 (.464)

4-16 (.250)

97

L

Golden State

37-84 (.440)

6-23 (.261)

104

W

Sacramento

36-86 (.419)

8-15 (.533)

95

L

LA Lakers

41-74 (.554)

7-17 (.412)

105

L

Cleveland

43-90 (.478)

9-18 (.500)

115

W

Phoenix

30-92 (.326)

4-14 (.286)

69

L

Utah

42-87 (.483)

7-19 (.368)

109

L

Houston

44-92 (.478)

15-33 (.455)

122

TOTALS

4-6

398-873 (.456)

75-193 (.389)

105.1

SEASON

39-15

.432

.354

97.7

BAD STRETCH

The Thunder (39-15) goes into Friday's 7 p.m. contest against Minnesota (20-31) at Chesapeake Energy Arena on a three-game losing streak, matching OKC's longest regular-season losing streak in the last four years.

Asked if this meant the team officially is in a slump, Sefolosha said: “No, we're not in a slump. It's part of the schedule. We've played some tough teams. We've played some teams that have played well. I don't think we're in a slump at all.”

Brooks noted 28 games remain in the season. “We've still got plenty of time to correct,” Brooks said. “We are not a broken team. We're just in a part of the season where we have to figure out some things and to correct it.”

TIP-INS

Starting center Kendrick Perkins, who missed Wednesday's game at Houston with a sprained knee, sat out of Thursday's practice. Perkins' status for Friday's game against the Timberwolves remains unknown. … Durant leads the NBA in free-throw percentage at .907. Martin is fourth at .901, trailing Durant, Golden State's Stephen Curry (.906) and Dallas' Darren Collison (.902). … Not only is Milwaukee's Larry Sanders comfortably ahead of Serge Ibaka in blocked shots (3.26 to 2.96 per game), he's doing it in 6½ fewer minutes per game (25.5 to 32.1). … OKC (7.5) is second in league in blocked shots to Milwaukee (7.6). … Durant (39.0) is second to Chicago's Luol Deng (39.5) in minutes per game.

QUOTABLE

Sefolosha, smiling when playfully asked if the Thunder held a players-only meeting, a la the Los Angeles Lakers: “Nah, we don't need that.”


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