Oklahoma City Thunder: Thunder will not use long road trip as an excuse for mediocrity
Coach Scott Brooks: “It was a long road trip, but everybody has the same amount of road games. It's not like we're the only team that had a long road trip.”
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Oklahoma City allowed 106 points and 46.6 percent shooting in those six games. Sure, the first two went into overtime. But even if you take away the points Dallas and Denver scored in the extra periods, the Thunder allowed 102.5 points per game — which would rank fifth worst in the league.
“We just got to do a better job of having our hand up and contesting shots,” said Kevin Durant. “We just got to do a better job. I think we were making a good first effort. We got to have a better second effort.”
The trip culminated with the Thunder allowing the Lakers to shoot an opponent-high 55.4 percent from the field. Six Lakers players scored in double figures, as Kobe Bryant, in the words of Brooks, “picked us apart” with 14 assists.
The Thunder's defense went from yielding 95.9 points on average before the trip to 97.3, falling to 16th in the league.
Oklahoma City now has three days off to formulate a strategy to right the ship.
The good news is the Thunder is back home.
The bad news is the first game following a road trip generally is considered the toughest — and a rested and always tough Memphis Grizzlies team, which already knocked off the Thunder at home, looms.
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