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Thunder notebook: Byron Mullens returns early from 66ers

By John Rohde, Staff Writer, Modified: December 13, 2010 at 10:20 am •  Published: December 12, 2010

Starting center Nenad Krstic (back spasms) and rookie center Cole Aldrich (left rib contusion) were both inactive for Sunday's 106-77 victory over Cleveland and their playing status remain day-to-day.

With a shortage at the position, the Thunder recalled second-year center Byron Mullens from the Tulsa 66ers of the NBA Development League. Mullens played seven minutes and had five points, five rebounds, one steal and one blocked shot.

In his lone appearance with the 66ers, Mullens had 19 points, four rebounds, three assists, two steals and one block in 33 minutes.

His early return to the Thunder did come at a cost because NBA players are allowed only three assignments to the D-League during the season. Mullens and Aldrich already have one each.


During a MidFirst promotion midway through the second quarter, fan Robert Yanders buried a half-court shot to become the contest's first-ever winner.

“It happened so fast,” Yanders, 31, said of his shot. “I remember being asked (in the tunnel), ‘What kind of shot will you shoot, a two-hand shot or a one-handed shot?' I just said, ‘I'm going to shoot it as if I really wanted it to go in.' And that's what I did, man. And it went in.”

Yanders received $20,000 for making the shot.

Thunder backup guard Eric Maynor buried a 35-footer at the third-quarter buzzer and earned roughly the same amount. Maynor's salary of $1,417,800 averages out to $17,290.24 per game.


The first quarter was highlighted by a baseline-to-baseline drive from James Harden that ended with a tomahawk dunk over J.J. Hickson while getting fouled.

Blog: Interview with Robert Yanders

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