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Thunder notebook: James Harden to handle the ball more?

Harden showed in the Western Conference Finals, when he averaged 14.4 points on 53.5 percent shooting along with six rebounds, 3.4 assists and 1.2 steals, that he could be a threat as a playmaker as well as a scorer.

BY DARNELL MAYBERRY, Staff Writer, dmayberry@opubco.com Modified: December 12, 2011 at 8:12 pm •  Published: December 12, 2011
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“I think it helped me a lot,” Ibaka said. “It was a great experience for me, especially during the lockout. I was playing and working hard. I was learning something new. I was very happy.”

Ibaka teamed with some of the best talent on the international circuit, including Dallas swingman Rudy Fernandez, Felipe Reyes, Sergio Rodriguez, Sergio Llull and Ante Tomic.

“(I learned) a lot of stuff,” Ibaka said. “Not just to dunk or shoot the ball. How to play on a team. A lot of stuff. Defensively. Offensively. Personally, too. How to be a good professional.”

BRIEFLYSingle game tickets for the preseason and first half of the regular season went on sale Monday. A limited number remains. … Brooks said Nazr Mohammed, James Harden and Reggie Jackson are improving but are still day-to-day with minor injuries. … Center Kendrick Perkins has joined Twitter. He can be followed @perk5yunghawg. In one of his early posts, Perkins said he will give away two tickets to each home game. … The Thunder will hold an open practice Friday at Putnam City West High School between the boys and girls games. Seating is expected to be extremely limited. PC West is located on NW 23, just west of Council Road. ... The Thunder waived former Syracuse forward Terrence Roberts, leaving the roster at 17.

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Royal Ivey on this season's expectations: “Anything can happen. We just got to be prepared. Keep on working. Keep on getting better. Keep the cohesiveness with this group because this is a tight group. There's no egos here. Everybody wants to get better and everybody wants to win. That's what makes this team special.”