With Thunder general manager Sam Presti hailing from the San Antonio organization, the Thunder for years has drawn comparisons to the Spurs. Thunder coach Scott Brooks said Monday those comparisons are "flattering" but added that the Thunder isn't necessarily seeking to copy the Spurs' model.
"We're two different organizations," Brooks said. "Sam has done a good job of building the team. But we do things the way we feel is best for our organization. But the San Antonio Spurs, I have a lot of respect for the organization and coach (Gregg Popovich). The way they handle success and the way they handle when they're not successful."
Comparisons aside, Brooks said it's always beneficial to play the Spurs.
"They play hard," Brooks said. "I like playing this team because they challenge you in so many ways. You learn so many different things about yourself because they make you play hard and smart basketball for you to be successful."
Of the Thunder's four preseason games before Monday's exhibition at San Antonio, the Thunder had two solid showings and two shaky outings. Brooks said it's time for his team to start establishing some consistency.
"We're always striving for consistency," Brooks said. "That's an important thing for this team to continue to achieve. I believe you just keep grinding it out. And our guys want that. We feel like we're getting better in a lot of areas because we have that same approach and same mentality every day. We're here to work and we're here to develop consistent habits."
Nenad Krstic did not accompany the team during its two-game road trip. Krstic will have his surgically-repaired index finger examined today in Oklahoma City. Krstic said recently he expects to have the pins removed in his finger before the team evaluates how soon he can return to the lineup.
Thabo Sefolosha did not play Monday at San Antonio because of a jammed right pinkie. Sefolosha said he's having difficulty catching the ball and added that the pinkie's swelling has caused some pain. Sefolosha, however, said he could return to the lineup tonight against Denver or Thursday against New Orleans.
Brooks said Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook will not play tonight against Denver. ... After struggling from the free-throw line throughout the preseason, the Thunder made 17 of 19 free throws in the first half Monday. ... Spurs guard Manu Ginobili hit a leaning 3-pointer to beat the halftime buzzer and give San Antonio a 61-51 lead. ... Former Thunder forward turned FOX Sports Oklahoma studio analyst Malik Rose attended Monday's game. Rose joined television play-by-play man Brian Davis on the Thunder Radio Network at halftime and had former teammates Danny Ferry, Tim Duncan and Tony Parker tease him during the set.