Holiday cheerThe Thunder endured a 14-game losing streak earlier this season and is currently riding an eight-game losing streak. Frustration mounts after every loss, but community holiday projects are a reminder players are blessed. "For sure,” said Nick Collison. "That real world perspective is always good, especially when you’re going through a tough time. Everybody enjoys doing these (projects). The things we’re doing are great. Plus, a lot of us have family coming in from out of town to celebrate the holidays. That could be a good change of pace.” Kevin Durant on Wednesday presented winter coats, hats and gloves, donated by Nike, to 60 predetermined children. Thunder officials hosted a holiday celebration Wednesday afternoon at the Ford Center for 500 Oklahoma City seventh-grade students who improved their attendance records.
KING JAMES TO HOLD COURTThe Thunder hasn’t had a sellout since the Hornets played a nationally televised game Nov. 21, but LeBron James’ only visit to the Ford Center on Sunday has been a sellout for weeks. Sometimes a few tickets become available when fans release them. The Thunder holds back 250 tickets to be sold on the day of the game.
DAY OFFAfter playing three games in four days and practicing on Monday, players had Wednesday off. The team will practice today and have a shoot-around Friday morning before hosting Toronto that night. "It’s a chance for us to get our minds together for Toronto,” said Kevin Durant. "They’re very good.”
STAT LEADERSThe Thunder has three players listed among the league leaders. Durant is eighth in scoring (23.2) and second in 3-point field goal percentage (48.4). Russell Westbrook is 12th in steals (1.69). Earl Watson is 13th in assists (6.2).
FAST BREAKCollison has averaged 9.5 points and 8.0 rebounds the past six games after averaging 5.9 and 5.5 the first month. Collison leads the team in rebounds (6.0). ... The Thunder is 0-11 against the Eastern Conference. The next five games are all against the East. ... Despite a league-worst 2-24 record, players say practices have been good. "We’ve got to keep each other going,” said Chris Wilcox. "It’s been a rough two months, but I still think we can turn it around.” BY MIKE BALDWIN