This came after Ibaka shot 5 for 18 (. 278) from the field the first two games of the season. Thunder coach Scott Brooks credits Ibaka working overtime at the practice facility.
“It's no coincidence,” Brooks said. “The more you work during the season, the less likely those (shooting slumps) are going to be as frequent or as long. You knew sooner or later those shots were going to fall.”
Brooks on the firing of Los Angeles Lakers coach Mike Brown on Friday after a 1-4 start: “Mike's a personal friend. It's too bad it happened. Mike's a great guy, a great coach and the way he's made his name in this league is through work. He will bounce back and get back at it because he works too hard and he's a good coach.”
Reserve Thunder center Hasheem Thabeet was inactive for Friday's game with a sprained left ankle. Former Bishop McGuinness High School standout Daniel Orton was activated in his place, but did not play. … Thunder reserve guard Kevin Martin entered Friday's contest tied for fifth in the league in 3-point percentage (. 636), but converted just 2 of 9 against Detroit. Teammate Thabo Sefolosha was fourth at (. 667) and went 0 for 1. … The Pistons dropped to 0-6 on the season, having played five straight road games after opening the season at home with a loss to Houston. Detroit's road swing ends Saturday night against the Rockets. … The Thunder won Friday despite being out-rebounded (41-38), plus being outscored in the paint (50-40), on second-chance points (19-11) and in fast-break points (17-15).
Durant on urging Ibaka to shoot whenever he is open: “We're just trying to get Serge as much confidence as we can. We believe in him. Once you get somebody confidence and opportunity in this league, with the hard work he puts in, the sky's the limit. We need that from him. He's taking pressure off everybody.”