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So there is crying in basketball, too: Thunder's Durant, Brooks defends Heat's shedding of tears

Miami Heat coach Erik Spoelstra's disclosure that Heat players cried over their loss to the Bulls Sunday caused a media stir. But Thunder players and coaches aren't too proud to admit they've cried over games.
By JOHN ROHDE, Staff Writer, jrohde@opubco.com Published: March 8, 2011

PHILADELPHIA Following Monday night's 107-101 loss at Memphis that snapped the Thunder's three-game winning streak, no one in the losing locker room was crying. Not even a sniffle.

Guard Thabo Sefolosha sat with a blank stare and leaned back in his chair. Power forward Nick Collison buttoned his shirt as he candidly discussed the Thunder's poor start to the game.

Trying to avoid another interview, All-Star point guard Russell Westbrook once again showed he's as quick getting dressed and out the door as he is on a fastbreak. Fellow guard James Harden has learned to do the same.

All-Star forward Kevin Durant politely answered questions while reminding everyone the sky is not falling.

Within an hour, the visitor's locker room inside the FedExForum was empty and the Thunder (39-23) was boarding a private plane bound for Philadelphia, where it will battle the rejuvenated Sixers (32-30) at 6 p.m. Wednesday.

Although no tears were shed after the Thunder's third loss in four games this season to the pesky Grizzlies, no one implied OKC players didn't care about the loss.

After a one-point setback at home against Chicago on Sunday, Miami Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said "there are a couple guys crying in the locker room right now."

Spoelstra was simply trying to point out his players cared about losing. Media used the opportunity to take shots at the much-maligned Heat and crying in basketball has since become a hot topic.

Every chance he gets, Thunder coach Scott Brooks stresses how much he likes his team because it cares about the game, but crying is not a requirement.

Brooks said "the best experience" in his basketball career came during his senior year in high school when his team lost in the California sectional finals.

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Thunder at 76ers

When: 6 p.m. Wednesday

Where: Wells Fargo Center, Philadelphia

TV: FS Oklahoma (Cox 37, HD Ch. 722)

Radio: WWLS 98.1-FM, WWLS 640-AM

 THREE THINGS TO KNOW

*Sixers swingman Andre Iguodala had two straight triple-doubles last week. He did not play in the season's previous meeting at OKC.

*The Sixers had won six of their last seven, eight of their last 10 and were the East's No. 7 playoff seed entering Tuesday's game at Indiana.

*Entering Tuesday night's games, only 4 1/2 games separated the No. 4 playoff seed from the No. 8 seed in the Western Conference.

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