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Oklahoma City Thunder: Practice time would do the Thunder some good

Extra time in the practice gym would help OKC adjust to life without Russell Westbrook.
BY JOHN ROHDE, Staff Writer, Published: April 28, 2013

“In all my experience over the years, that's always been a positive,” said Fisher, the NBA's active leader with 232 career postseason games. “The more days you can get without a game is advantageous for you in the long run. It's not only more practice days, it's rest days for certain guys, physically better for certain guys. And as the series gets tougher and the games get more physical, first round, second round, third round, hopefully the NBA Finals, those days of rest, they pay off for you in the end.”

Three-time scoring champ and four-time All-Star Kevin Durant played all but 44 seconds of Game 3, often assuming Westbrook's role at the point en route to tying a career playoff high of 41 points and adding 14 rebounds.

“It would be great, of course, to get a sweep,” Durant said Sunday, “but we know how tough it is to close out a series. We know it's going to be the toughest game of the series (Monday). They're just going to come out there and play freely. That's what they've been doing. They're going to try to take it back to OKC (for Game 5 on Wednesday).”

Predictably, every person interviewed before Sunday's practice at Rice's Tudor Fieldhouse refused to get carried away about the possibility of a sweep.

“For us right now, it's not about looking ahead,” Fisher said. “But when you have an opportunity to close a team out, it's important to find a way to do so. It's the NBA. The Rockets are not going to quit. So it'll be up to us to find a way to win the game and beat them and not expect them to walk out on the court and lay down.”