Sunday night's 102-72 shellacking of the Chicago Bulls at Chesapeake Energy Arena improved the Thunder's season record to 13-7 (.650) against Eastern Conference teams.
That record pales in comparison to OKC's stellar 28-8 (.778) mark against Western Conference teams.
The Thunder is 18-1 at home against West, but just 7-3 against the East at The Peake.
Why has the Thunder (41-15) struggled against the inferior East?
“I do not know,” said three-time scoring champ Kevin Durant, shaking his head in disgust.
OKC coach Scott Brooks wasn't much help, either.
“I haven't looked at it that closely,” Brooks said. “I know the last couple of years we've been good against the East (57-21 the previous three seasons). They definitely are physical teams. I don't know if that's the reason. We just haven't played as well against the East as we have against the West. … I don't know the answer to that.”
Thabo Sefolosha and Ronnie Brewer used to play for the Chicago Bulls, while Nazr Mohammed, Daequan Cook and Nate Robinson used to play for the Thunder.
All parties got reacquainted either before the game or at halftime.
Thunder center Kendrick Perkins and Robinson were teammates and close friends with the Boston Celtics when they were traded together to OKC two years to the day on Sunday.
With five minutes left in the third quarter, however, Perkins set a hard pick at the top of the key on Robinson, who fell to the court and clutched his knee. Perkins did not help Robinson to his feet, nor did he even make eye contact.
Oklahoma quarterback Blake Bell and offensive lineman Gabe Ikard sat courtside and chatted briefly with Daniel Orton at halftime. Ikard and Orton played basketball together at Bishop McGuinness High School. … OKC point guard Russell Westbrook picked up his ninth technical foul of the season in the first quarter. … Thunder reserve forward Nick Collison wore a sleeve on his right calf. … Chicago forward Taj Gibson suffered sprained left knee and did not return. … In the first quarter, two total fouls were called and both were against OKC. In the second quarter, 20 fouls were called — 10 on each team. … In its last two games, the Thunder is a combined 46 for 49 (.939) from the free-throw line — 22 for 22 against Minnesota on Friday and 24 for 27 against the Bulls.
Durant on what time of day he would prefer to play Sunday games: “I would like to keep it at 7 (p.m.), but I'd rather have 8:30 (p.m.) than noon. I like to sleep throughout the day. I just like to relax before the game. Just getting right out of your bed and going to the arena in the morning is a little different, but I'd rather just have an 8:30 start.”