“I brought him to UT,” Tucker told Coro. “I brought him in. When he came on his official visit (in May of 2005), we had already talked way before. We talked a bunch. Then he came, and I showed him and basically brought him in. We've been cool and friends ever since.”
Tucker and Durant could have been teammates, but Tucker, Daniel Gibson and LaMarcus Aldridge entered the NBA Draft early in 2006. “I didn't know I was going to enter my name in the draft,” Tucker said. “I wouldn't say I wished I had stayed, but it would've been nice to play with him.”
Durant finished with 30 points against the Suns and had 10 points in the final 6:09 of the game. “He isn't worried, trust me,” Tucker said before the game of defending Durant. “With guys like him that can score like that, he's not worried about anybody guarding him. He's going to get them up.”
NICK OF TIME
Thunder reserve Nick Collison was his usual, efficient self, scoring 10 points (5 for 6 from the field) and grabbing nine rebounds (four offensive) in 20 minutes against Phoenix.
“Nick does so many great things for us,” Brooks said. “Time and time again like I say, he's a ‘glue guy.' He does all the little things that are important to winning basketball games. He makes a ton of winning basketball plays. He sets great screens. … He dives on the floor and gets offensive rebounds. And his jump shot — I have a lot of confidence when he shoots it. He's worked on it over the years and it's good to see him have a good game on both ends of the floor.”
The loss to the Thunder upped the Suns' losing streak to six straight overall and nine straight on the road. Phoenix slipped to 11-21 overall and 2-14 on the road.
“We're still good enough to win all these games, but we have to be more focused,” Suns reserve center Jermaine O'Neal said. “We can't keep talking about it. I don't know how many more speeches coach (Alvin Gentry) can come in here and give. I applaud him for having as many as he's had. Look at the roster. We don't have a whole lot of guys who've been there.”
Westbrook on if he would mind playing at home every New Year's Eve: “I'd rather play home on Christmas than New Year's (Eve), if you ask me.”