DENVER — The mother of Thunder coach Scott Brooks died Saturday, but that didn't prevent her youngest son from coaching the team with the best NBA record one day later.
Lee Brooks, the most influential person in Brooks' life, died at age 79. There was no immediate word on the cause of death.
Brooks flew to Manteca, Calif., on Saturday and returned Sunday in time for OKC's game against the Denver Nuggets at the Pepsi Center.
More heartache ensued as the Thunder lost 121-118 in overtime, ending a six-game winning streak.
Brooks did his pregame interview session as usual, but no questions were asked about his mother. Instead, Brooks accepted hugs and condolences from Thunder supporters and acquaintances in Denver, where Brooks previously served as an assistant.
The only question about his mother's death was the final postgame inquiry, which asked Brooks how he was doing emotionally.
“I'm good. I'm good. I'm thankful and … I'm good. Thank you, everybody,” Brooks said softly before walking away slowly.
Thunder starting center Kendrick Perkins said the team was impressed Brooks chose to coach Sunday.
“I don't see how he did it,” Perkins said. “To be back today just shows you what kind of soldier and how much he's dedicated to us. We just really wanted to get this win for him tonight. We're here for him and we just want to embrace him.”
Reserve forward Nick Collison said it had to be “very difficult” for Brooks to return to the team so quickly.