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Oklahoma City Thunder: Russell Westbrook shows no rust in preseason opener

Thunder star takes advantage of smaller Jeremy Lin, scores 13 points in the first six minutes of the game. Westbrook sat the entire second half of preseason opener vs. Rockets.
by Darnell Mayberry Published: October 10, 2012

OPPORTUNITY KNOCKS

Brooks showed Wednesday that he is set on backing up his promise of minutes to every player with the team in training camp.

Brooks played 12 of the 16 available players Wednesday and, as he said he would do, limited both Westbrook and Kevin Durant to 20 minutes or less.

“It's definitely a great opportunity,” Brooks said. “The exhibition season is always important because we've got guys fighting for minutes. We have guys trying to make the team.”

Daniel Orton, Andy Rautins, Walker Russell Jr. and Hollis Thompson were the only available players that did not receive playing time. But their opportunities likely are coming soon.

“Our three bigs are going to get plenty of opportunities to play and see what they bring to the table,” Brooks said. “And they're going to get consistent minutes. Sometimes that's hard to do. When you have a healthy team, there's not a lot of minutes to go around. But as a player, you always want an opportunity and you want some consistent time, and those guys are going to get some good looks.”

TIP-INS

Thabo Sefolosha (quad) will not play Friday at Utah. The team will re-evaluate him following the Jazz game. ... Westbrook continues to wear the Jordan Brand line of shoes, essentially ending the suspense of which shoe company he has chosen after his contract with Nike expired. Westbrook sported a pair of Thunder-colored Jordans in Wednesday's preseason opener and even wore a pair of Jordan Brand slippers in the locker room. ... Brooks said before the game that it's possible James Harden starts “a game or two” this preseason. ... Eric Maynor played third-string point guard behind Westbrook and Reggie Jackson on Wednesday. It was Maynor's first game since tearing his ACL early in the season at Houston last year. Maynor checked in for the first time with 3:14 remaining in the third quarter and finished with seven points and four assists in 15 minutes. ... The Thunder received a considerably louder ovation than the Rockets despite being the road team. As OKC took the court, the public address announcer introduced the team as “the defending Western Conference champion Oklahoma City Thunder.”

by Darnell Mayberry
OKC Thunder Senior Reporter
Darnell Mayberry grew up in Langston, Okla. and is now in his third stint in the Sooner state. After a year and a half at Bishop McGuinness High, he finished his prep years in Falls Church, Va., before graduating from Norfolk State University in...
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