Newly acquired guard Ronnie Brewer played the final 4:44 of Wednesday night's 110-87 romp over the Utah Jazz at Chesapeake Energy Arena.
The defensive specialist obtained from the New York Knicks at last month's trade deadline has yet to play significant minutes in a competitive game, however.
Though anxiously awaiting quality playing time, Brewer understands he is caught in a numbers game on a talented team coached by Scott Brooks.
“Obviously he (Brooks) has been doing something right. I mean, this team is a phenomenal team,” Brewer said. “Different guys step up every night to play well other than KD (Kevin Durant) and Russ (Westbrook). When the time comes I just got to be ready.
“I don't let it get me down. If I don't play, you can do other things. You can cheer your teammates on. You can tell them things that maybe you see that they don't see on the court. You got to just do your part and that's part of being part of a great organization. Everybody has their role and does their part. And whenever my name is called I have to be ready and play to the best of my abilities.”
180 CLUB UPDATE
Despite a precipitous drop in his shooting percentages from the field since All-Star weekend, Durant remains alive and well for his fourth straight scoring title (28.3) and also had kept his head above water for the prestigious “180 Club” – shooting 50 percent from the field, 40 percent from 3-point range and 90 percent from the free-throw line.
Before the All-Star break, Durant was shooting 51.9 percent from the field; 42.7 percent from 3-point range and 90.7 percent from the free-throw line.
Since the All-Star break, he has shot 43.1 percent from the field, 34.1 percent from 3-point range and 92.0 percent from the line.
On the season, Durant stands at 50.5 percent from the field, 41.5 percent from 3-point range and 91.0 percent from the line after Wednesday's game.
With 5:47 left in the third quarter, Utah forward DeMarre Carroll was called for a Flagrant Foul I when he fouled Durant on the way to the basket. It was a foul very similar to the Flagrant Foul I that Durant had received in Utah last month.
Westbrook received a technical foul when he immediately stepped in and verbally confronted Carroll.
“I was just trying to get my teammate away from it all,” Durant said of the play. “I seen Russ over there by himself, so that was the first thing I was concerned with. It was a hard foul, that's it. I did the same thing to one of their guys in Utah, so I couldn't be too upset about it. I just went over there to get Russell. I saw him in a sea of blue of Utah guys so I just tried to get him out of there because I knew he came to my rescue.
“Ain't nobody going to fight out there, first off. It wasn't that hard a foul. Glad I was able to get two free throws out of it.”
This one wasn't pretty from start to finish.
OKC had six turnovers in its first 12 possessions and finished with 25. Utah had 20 turnovers, which the Thunder turned into 25 points.
There were 52 fouls, five technical fouls and 66 free throws attempted – 33 by each team.
Utah scored nine points in the second quarter, the fewest points allowed for a quarter in Thunder history.
OKC's biggest lead was 32.
Signs spotted in the crowd:
“Westbrook Will You Marry My Mom” – held up by a little girl
“Oklahoma Welcomes Pope Francis”
The Thunder is now 14-3 after a loss this season and 49-12 (.803) after a loss in the last three seasons, which surpasses Chicago (50-13) for the NBA's best bounce-back record in that time span.
BY JOHN ROHDE