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Oklahoma City Thunder notebook

Published: January 3, 2009
Westbrook honored
Russell Westbrook was named the Western Conference Rookie of the Month for December. Westbrook started all 15 games, averaging 15.5 points, 5.1 assists and 5.1 rebounds.

Westbrook twice set career highs. He scored 30 points against Miami on Dec. 6 and surpassed that with a 31-point outing Dec. 29 against Phoenix. He set single-game career highs in assists (11) and steals (5).

Chris "Birdman” Andersen, a fan favorite when the Hornets played in Oklahoma City, was asked his most memorable game in the Ford Center.

"Sonic was giving away free tater tots if we got five dunks in a game,” Andersen said. "I had all five. I didn’t know anything about it until someone came up to me after the game and said everyone got tots...

"I’ll never forget how this place was sold out almost every night. It’s great to get back out there in front of these fans.”

Denver coach George Karl, who works the referees as much any coach in the league, scolded official Matt Boland late in the first quarter following a touch foul on the Nuggets J.R. Smith.

"You call that but don’t call anything when a murder happens down here (on our end)?” Karl quipped.

Later in the game, when referees ruled off a basket for hanging on the rim, Karl moaned: "Is the ball supposed to dunk itself?”

With the help of his foundation, point guard Earl Watson experienced a rare Christmas story when he adopted five families at Tinker Air Force Base.


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