Scott Brooks can live with Thunder's current trend

BY JOHN ROHDE, Staff Writer, jrohde@opubco.com Modified: December 23, 2010 at 10:10 pm •  Published: December 23, 2010

As long as his team is able to take two steps forward after taking one step back, Thunder coach Scott Brooks said he can live with the results.

Brooks willingly accepts a gradual maturation while coaching the NBA's third-youngest roster.

Not coincidentally, taking two steps forward and one step back directly correlates to not losing two straight games. In this regard, the Thunder has excelled this season with an 8-1 record after a loss.

“That is no easy feat in this league,” said Brooks, raising both eyebrows as a salute to his team.

If two-in-a-row officially constitutes a streak, the Thunder has five winning streaks so far this season and just one losing streak.

Effort no doubt is a key reason the Thunder has been able to bounce back after a loss, but NBA scoring champ Kevin Durant said good brains also have played a role.

“We've got a group of guys who have high basketball IQs,” Durant said. “The best thing about being able to do it (recover from a loss) is we know what we did wrong, and we make adjustments. Really good teams can lose two straight, three straight, four straight in any given week. But we learn from our mistakes.”

The only time the Thunder (20-10) has failed to win after a loss was Nov. 3, a humiliating 107-92 road setback against the Los Angeles Clippers. That followed the Thunder's first loss of the season, a 120-99 clinic at home delivered by Utah.

The opportunity to win a ninth straight time after a loss comes at 7 p.m. on Christmas Day with a nationally televised game (ESPN) against Denver inside Oklahoma City Arena.