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Thunder notebook: Charles Barkley on the Thunder

BY MIKE BALDWIN, Staff Writer, mbaldwin@opubco.com Published: January 2, 2010
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also hit the last points ever in Key Arena that put us up four. But I don’t ever remember making two to take the lead at the end.”

TURNOVER REDUCTION
Entering Thursday’s game, the Thunder had committed 14 or fewer turnovers in eight consecutive games, the longest streak in more than six years. The streak ended with 19 turnovers against Utah.

"Utah is physical,” said Oklahoma City coach Scott Brooks. "They get their hands on a lot of balls and bodies. We didn’t do a good job of finding ways to counter that. Give them credit. That’s how they play.”

One reason the Thunder’s turnovers have been down the past two weeks is Russell Westbrook, among the league leaders in turnovers (3.2), has trimmed his average to 1.9 the past nine games.

ELECTRIC ATMOSPHERE
With 4.5 seconds left, and with the Jazz getting ready to inbound the ball, Brooks looked up at the crowd and cracked an ear-to-ear smile. After Ronnie Price missed a shot, extending the winning streak to five, 2010 balloons were released from the Ford Center ceiling.

"Our crowd brings it every night,” Brooks said. "It’s amazing how much energy they bring. They help us win games.”

FAST BREAK. . .
The Thunder is limiting opponents to 40.2 percent shooting in the fourth quarter in their 18 wins. ... OKC is 8-1 when Westbrook dishes out 10 or more assists. ... The win over Utah was just the fourth all season when OKC doesn’t reach the century mark. The Thunder is 14-1 when they score 100 points. ... The team practiced for nearly an hour Friday before leaving for Milwaukee.


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