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Thunder-Mavericks Game 5 notebook: Scott Brooks barely missed Rockets' comeback

BY JOHN ROHDE, Staff Writer, jrohde@opubco.com Published: May 26, 2011
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BROOKS BARELY MISSED 3-1 COMEBACK

With its 100-96 loss in Game 5 on Wednesday night, the Oklahoma City Thunder became the 201st team that failed to come back from a 3-1 deficit to win an NBA playoff series. On Thursday night, Chicago could become the 202nd.

The 1994-95 Houston Rockets are one of only eight teams to successfully come back and win. Thunder coach Scott Brooks won the world championship playing for Houston the previous season and was a reserve guard with the comeback Rockets, but he was traded on the night of that season's trade deadline.

"And I'm still bitter," Brooks said of former Houston coach Rudy Tomjanovich. "I talk to him now, though. Took me three years. I'm not joking, either. I had two great years in Dallas, until they dumped me. Mr. C (owner Donald J. Carter). I haven't talked to him yet, either."

The following season, Brooks' trade from Houston became known as the “Scott Brooks Rule,” which prevents a player from potentially being traded at halftime on deadline day. The league moved the trade deadline up six hours from 9 p.m. to 3 Eastern time.

Brooks was traded on Feb. 23, 1995. He was on the court during his team's halftime warm-up session when he learned he had been traded. Rockets general manager Bob Weinhauer waved Brooks over to inform him.

"Well, that's a great way to tell me," Brooks said at the time, or words to that effect.

'I DON'T KNOW'

Thunder point guard Russell Westbrook, who rarely is chatty to begin with, gave short answers during his postgame interview session. He was polite but essentially speechless as he struggled to find words to explain what had just transpired.

In the end, what was the difference in the game? "I honestly don't know. I think we played hard and just couldn't come up with the win."

How would you describe the last 8-9 minutes of the game? "I don't know ..."

Can you pinpoint one or two things? "As I said, I don't know ..."

Why did you guys come up a little short? "I don't know ..."

What was the difference between the two teams? "We're not worried about Dallas. We've got a whole next year to come up to worry about other teams."

Soon, the interview was over. "Thank you, guys," Westbrook said as he walked away.

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