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Thunder notebook: Can James Harden make the All-Star team?

By Darnell Mayberry and John Rohde, Staff Writers Published: February 9, 2012
It seems likely that the Thunder’s coaching and medical staffs might opt to give Sefolosha two more games off so that he can rest over the weekend and prepare for a return next Tuesday at home against Utah.

An unexplained score change occurred at the end of the third quarter Tuesday night at Golden State and caused a great deal of confusion.

According to the scoreboard and the official game stats, the Warriors led the Thunder 93-92 after three quarters of play. But just before the start of the final period, the Thunder’s score was changed to 91 points.

The change came when officials went back and ruled that a 3-pointer by Westbrook with 4:18 remaining in the third period was actually a 2-pointer.

Jackson praised Kendrick Perkins on Tuesday night for putting himself in harm’s way when he challenged a dunk by Blake Griffin on Jan. 30 and ended up on the wrong end of a highlight.

“The thing you love about Kendrick Perkins is if you had to rewind, he’d do the same exact thing,” Jackson said. “He really could care less about being in a poster for Blake Griffin. He was part of the rotation. It was his responsibility.

“The beautiful thing is, watching it, here’s what I’m thinking ‘The next one somebody’s getting hit.’ That shows how much I think of Kendrick Perkins, his professionalism, his old-school mentality. I felt sorry for the next guy that tried it. Fortunately, it didn’t take place that night. But he’s a guy that’s a pro and certainly completes that Thunder basketball team.”

Reserve center Nazr Mohammed has seen his production take a hit this season. But over the past two games, he’s been a pivotal part of the Thunder notching two hard-fought road wins.

Mohammed tied a season-high with seven rebounds Monday at Portland and scored eight points during a 13-2 run to start the second quarter Tuesday night.

“Nazr, the last two games, was a big part of both wins,” said Thunder coach Scott Brooks. “He came in and gave us 12 minutes of good basketball (Monday), and (against the Warriors) he was active, moving his feet and protecting what we needed to get done on the offensive and defensive end.”

Brooks credited Mohammed for staying ready to contribute and never complaining despite receiving erratic playing time this season. Brooks called Mohammed a “true professional” who “understands that it’s about winning ballgames.”

“I know my role,” Mohammed said. “I’m just trying to go out there and just play hard and get something done when I’m in the game and just hopefully get these wins.”

The Thunder will continue its five-game road trip with Game No. 4 on Thursday at Sacramento. It will be the first of four regular season meetings between the two teams. The Thunder swept last year’s four-game series. Tipoff is scheduled for 9:30 p.m.

By Darnell Mayberry and John Rohde

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One win and Brooks is All-Star coach


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