Thunder notebook: Heating up

Oklahoman Modified: December 5, 2008 at 9:58 am •  Published: December 5, 2008
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The Thunder ranks last in the league in field goal percentage (42.4) but has improved under interim coach Scott Brooks. In a loss Wednesday night at Charlotte, Oklahoma City shot a season-high 54.5 percent. Kevin Durant and Jeff Green were a combined 16-of-21, a blistering 76.2 percent.

Oklahoma City has shot 50 percent or better its last three games.

"Once you have guys believing in getting better shots, making the extra pass, it’s going to improve,” Brooks said. "Guys also are making more shots. Early in the year, we went through a slump. Hopefully, we’re out of it.”

Scouting report
Led by Dwight Howard’s first career triple double, Orlando romped to a 102-92 win last month in a game that wasn’t as close as the final score. Orlando, though, is banged up for the rematch. The Magic has been playing without its two starting guards.

Mickeal Pietrus, who scored 17 points in the Ford Center, is out a month with a thumb injury. Jameer Nelson is day-to-day with a strained hip. The Magic, 14-5 overall, 8-3 at home, still has its big three — Rashard Lewis, Hedo Turkoglu and Howard — who average nearly 60 points a game (58.2).

BOARD WORK
Giving up 11 offensive rebounds was bad enough. It’s what Emeka Okafor and the Bobcats did with those second chances that was pivotal.

"They scored on just about every one, which is close to 22 points,” Brooks said. "Plus, we didn’t take care of the ball. We have to give ourselves a chance. Good teams take care of the ball.”

BY MIKE BALDWIN



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