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Scott Brooks sends message to Kevin Durant, Jeff Green

Thunder coach Scott Brooks benched his two team captains early in the third quarter of Monday's 99-90 loss to Chicago.
by Darnell Mayberry Modified: December 9, 2010 at 11:08 pm •  Published: December 6, 2010

CHICAGO — Scott Brooks was in no mood to provide details of the message he sent his two captains Monday night.

And, really, the Thunder coach didn't have to.

When Brooks benched Kevin Durant and Jeff Green 2 minutes, 46 seconds into the third quarter, giving them an unwanted respite for the remainder of the period, his point was clear to all 21,184 inside the United Center.

If you don't play hard, you don't play for the Thunder.

Chicago, however, pounced. The Bulls turned a six-point advantage at the time of Durant and Green's benching into a 16-point lead after three quarters. By the time Green and Durant reported to the scorer's table to start the final frame, that deficit had become insurmountable and the Thunder dropped a 99-90 decision in what was mostly a dud of a performance by the visitors.

“We weren't playing well, and I tried to make a change to see if we could manufacture some more energy,” Brooks said. “It was just my decision. I don't know if it worked or not, but it was just important that we figured out how to play better. That was my choice.”

Brooks declined to elaborate further.

His message, however, seemed to have reached Durant and Green.

“He's coaching you up,” said Durant, who finished with 29 points and spent the bulk of the third period on his feet cheering on his teammates from the bench with a towel tucked inside his shirt and over his head. “You can't get sensitive. You go out there and try to play as hard as you can the next time you get back into the game. Lesson learned.”

Durant said he didn't know the exact reason why he was benched. The Thunder opened the period by allowing the Bulls to grab two of its 16 offensive rebounds, and Durant and Green combined to miss three shots in less than three minutes.

“I back him up 100 percent,” Durant said of Brooks' decision. “I love Scotty. He does a great job for us, motivating us and always pushing us every day. So I'm just going to back him up whenever he does something.”

Said Green, who finished with seven points on 1-for-9 shooting and six rebounds: “Everybody's going to get treated fairly. He wants players to play hard. He made his point.”

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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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