KEVIN MARTIN WILL REMAIN THE SIXTH MAN FOR NOW
Thunder coach Scott Brooks said he currently has no plans to insert Kevin Martin into the starting lineup but left the door open for that to change down the line.
“At this moment, no, I don't see it changing,” Brooks said. “You never know. It's a long season. A lot of things can happen. But we have a pretty good track record with our starters. They understand their role and they do a good job. Kevin, we're building him to be that guy off the bench that can give us what we need that particular game.”
Brooks for the first time this season on Friday altered his substitution pattern slightly, subbing out Kevin Durant late in the first quarter before bringing him back to start the second quarter. It's since become a change designed at getting more productivity from the second unit.
But Brooks said an all-out change to the rotation is unwarranted.
“You can change things up without being so drastic,” Brooks said. “That's what we've done in the past. We're likely to do that now with different matchups. But Kevin (Martin) obviously has been a starter in this league for a lot of years and this is an adjustment. I think he's doing a great job of making that adjustment. But his minutes are not going to be too far from being starter minutes.”
Entering Sunday's game against Golden State, Martin ranked third on the team in scoring at 17.1 points per game while averaging 29.5 minutes.
PASSING IMPRESSIVE AGAIN
For the second straight game, the Thunder registered a season-high 31 assists.
Five players had at least three assists, and six Thunder players had at least two.
“We were moving the basketball, we took care of the basketball and were finding good shots just about every possession,” Brooks said.
Sunday marked the 10th time in 11 games this season that the Thunder finished with at least 18 assists.
DURANT IMPOSSIBLE TO DEFEND
Before Sunday's game, Warriors coach Mark Jackson was asked where Durant ranks among the all-time greats in terms of being unguardable.
Even before Durant lit up the Warriors for his first career triple-double, Jackson had high praise for the reigning three-time scoring champ.
“He's in the discussion with anybody because of his size, his ability to shoot the basketball and shoot it with range,” Jackson said. “Coming into this league, people had concerns about how thin he was. That's not a concern because he's strong and able to take a hit. He is absolutely a tough matchup. And to think that he can play, really, any position on the floor with his size is scary.”
Warriors coach Jackson on how he would attempt to defend Westbrook in his playing days — “Chapel first. And then stay late when all the guys leave get some extra prayer in.”
Durant had 13 points and 10 rebounds in the first half, marking the second time this season he's registered a double-double by halftime. Before this season, he had done that only once in his career. … With 25 seconds remaining in the first quarter, Warriors forward Richard Jefferson left Sunday's game after straining his right calf. He did not return. … The Thunder finished with just 12 turnovers Sunday. … After making a season-high 14 3-pointers Friday at New Orleans, OKC made 13 3-pointers against the Warriors. … Westbrook scored 30 points Sunday, the third time this season that he's scored at least 30. … Wednesday's game against the Los Angeles Clippers is at 6:30 p.m. and will be broadcast on ESPN (Cox 29).
By Darnell Mayberry