But in each of the last three seasons, the Thunder won exactly 20 games after the All-Star break. If that three-year trend holds, OKC would go 20-9 after this year's All-Star break and to finish 59-23.
“Who wouldn't take that, 59 wins?” said Durant. “But we want to aim higher than that … We'll see what happens. We've got a tough schedule and so many tough teams fighting for playoff positions and fighting for seeds.”
When asked if he would take a 20-9 finish, Brooks appeared borderline insulted.
“Nine losses?” he said, half-jokingly before turning serious.
“Anytime you get in the 50s is good.”
WHY NOT COLLISON?
Many fans wondered why Brooks didn't start Nick Collison rather than Hasheem Thabeet in place of Perkins on Wednesday night. When asked that question, Brooks said he preferred consistency.
“I like Nick coming off the bench. It just stays with our same rotation,” Brooks said. “He has a good chemistry with our guys off the bench. Why change two areas of our game? If I did that, I'd change the starters' chemistry and the bench's' chemistry.”
Thabeet played the first six minutes of the game and did not return for the remainder of the second half as both teams played a heavy amount of small ball. Collison played eight first-half minutes.
Brooks said before the game that he wasn't looking for much out of Thabeet.
“Obviously, we're not going to him to score 15, 20 points,” Brooks said. “He's going to have to defend, block shots, alter shots and get in the way of their penetrating players. And he has the ability to do that.”
Just before tip-off Wednesday, news broke that the Rockets had parted with four players in a three-team trade involving Sacramento and Phoenix. Houston was down to 10 available players after parting with Cole Aldrich, Marcus Morris, Patrick Patterson and Toney Douglas. … With Perkins moving to the inactive list, Lamb was activated Wednesday against the Rockets. Lamb spent the final days before the All-Star break recovering from a low back strain. He has now recovered and has resumed basketball activities. … The Rockets made eight of their first 10 3-pointers and then missed their next 10.