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Thunder benefits when Nick Collison jumps into the action

Collison scored 10 points in a 31/2-minute span Sunday as the Thunder routed San Antonio 108-96 at Chesapeake Energy Arena.
by Berry Tramel Published: January 8, 2012

This was an interesting intersection of the season. The finale of the Thunder's only back-to-back-to-back assignment, coupled with the first game since the news that Maynor is gone for the season.

The Thunder responded well, against the venerable Spurs.

In the 8-2 Boomers' only two losses, they've been scoring deficient past the big three: only six players total scored at Dallas; only Durant, Harden and Westbrook reached double digits against Portland.

But with five minutes left in the second quarter Sunday night, Durant and Westbrook had combined for just five points, yet the Thunder still led 44-37.

“I think it makes a big difference,” said Sefolosha. “If we rely too much on Russell and Kevin and James to carry all the load, we become predictable.”

Harden and Collison, in particular, have become quite the tandem in the pick'n roll, especially when Collison has the ball and Harden still runs around a Collison screen. Once, Collison faked the handoff and zipped straight to the basket for a dunk.

“My points usually come when we're playing well as a team,” Collison said.

And the Thunder usually plays well as a team when Collison is on the court. Or flying through the air, now that he's been cleared for takeoff.

Berry Tramel: Berry can be reached at (405) 760-8080 or at He can be heard Monday through Friday from 4:40-5:20 p.m. on The Sports Animal radio network, including AM-640 and FM-98.1. You can also view his personality page at

by Berry Tramel
Berry Tramel, a lifelong Oklahoman, sports fan and newspaper reader, joined The Oklahoman in 1991 and has served as beat writer, assistant sports editor, sports editor and columnist. Tramel grew up reading four daily newspapers — The Oklahoman,...
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