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Thunder notebook: Birdman flies

BY MIKE BALDWIN, Staff Writer, Modified: December 15, 2009 at 12:20 am •  Published: December 15, 2009
Carmelo Anthony scored 31 points in the Nuggets’ 102-93 win over the Thunder on Monday night, but the other player who did the most damage was Chris "Birdman” Andersen. He posted a double-double (15 points, 11 rebounds).

"We didn’t a very good job keeping them off the offensive glass,” Thunder coach Scott Brooks said of Denver’s 14 offensive boards. "Their bigs created a lot of energy for them. Andersen is a guy who does that and does it well.”

Denver didn’t need an Anthony buzzer-beater Monday night, but his two game-winners in the Ford Center last season are a reminder just how much the Thunder’s roster has changed in one year.

Only five players from last year’s mid-December rotation are still on the roster. And Kyle Weaver is out four months with a shoulder injury.

The young trio (Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook and Jeff Green), plus Nick Collison essentially are the only players still around who played significant roles last season. Nenad Krstic and (January) and Thabo Sefolosha (mid-February) were added after the holidays.

After coaching as an assistant three seasons in Denver, Brooks said the Mile High City’s altitude can be a factor. The key is pre-game warmups.

"As soon as you get your second wind, everyone is fine,” Brooks said. Monday's box score

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