Thunder notebook: Breaking down OKC's playoff scenarios

Who will face the Thunder as the No. 7 seed remains in doubt heading into the final day of the regular season?
BY JOHN ROHDE, Staff Writer, jrohde@opubco.com Published: April 25, 2012

“Yeah, that is a lot of money,” Perkins said, shaking his head.

COWGIRLS HONORED

This year's Oklahoma State women's basketball team received a standing ovation between the first and second quarters as it was honored as the Thunder's Devon Energy Community Heroes for the month of April.

Coach Jim Littell, his staff and the Cowgirls were recognized for their courage and strength in the face of adversity. OSU won the WNIT championship despite the deaths of coach Kurt Budke and assistant Miranda Serna, who died in a plane crash while on a recruiting trip to Arkansas.

FREE RIDE

Entering the game, OKC led the league in free-throw percentage (.806) and made free throws (21.4), while Denver held a slight edge for the NBA lead in free-throw attempts (26.7 to 26.6).

On Wednesday, however, the Nuggets attempted twice as many free throws (30 to 15).

The Thunder was whistled for 26 fouls, but the damage was softened thanks to the Nuggets shooting just 60.0 percent (18 for 30).

OKC shot 86.7 percent from the line (13 for 15) to finish as the league's best free-throw shooting team for the second straight season.

TIP-INS

During pre-game introductions, the Thunder unfurled its second straight Northwest Division champions banner. … The Nuggets outscored the Thunder in points in the paint (54-38), second-chance points (21-17) and fast-break points (21-16). Denver also had more rebounds (42-37), offensive boards (17-11) and scored 24 points off 18 OKC turnovers. … Thunder starting forward Serge Ibaka suffered a right hip contusion in the third quarter but returned to play the entire fourth quarter. … Nuggets forward Kenneth Faried started out 0 for 6 at the free-throw line and finished 1 for 7. … Seven Denver players scored in double-digits compared to just three for the Thunder – Kevin Durant with 32, Russell Westbrook with 30 and Ibaka with 15. … Westbrook and Ibaka each had four blocked shots. … OKC reserve guard Daequan Cook scored nine points, all on 3-pointers (3 for 6). … Brooks was hit with his fourth technical of the season.

QUOTABLE

Denver coach George Karl, on finishing either as the No. 6 or No. 7 seed: “I'm not saying we want the Lakers or that we want Oklahoma City. We just want to be playing as good of basketball as we can be playing.”