Thunder notebook: Kelvin Sampson continues to coach Houston Rockets

Former Oklahoma coach is filling in while Kevin McHale is away from the team.
By John Rohde Published: November 27, 2012
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photo - Houston Rockets assistant basketball coach Kelvin Sampson gives direction from the bench during the first half of their NBA basketball game against the Portland Trail Blazers in Portland, Ore., Friday, Nov. 16, 2012. Sampson was filling in for head coach Kevin McHale who is on family leave. (AP Photo/Don Ryan) ORG XMIT: ORDR108
Houston Rockets assistant basketball coach Kelvin Sampson gives direction from the bench during the first half of their NBA basketball game against the Portland Trail Blazers in Portland, Ore., Friday, Nov. 16, 2012. Sampson was filling in for head coach Kevin McHale who is on family leave. (AP Photo/Don Ryan) ORG XMIT: ORDR108

All that goes out the window Wednesday.

Entering Houston's home game against Toronto on Tuesday night, Harden was averaging 38.4 minutes, 25.2 points, 4.9 assists, 4.2 rebounds, 1.7 steals and 4.1 turnovers. He was shooting 43.9 percent from the field, 32.0 percent from 3-point range and 83.6 percent from the free-throw line.

Cook had played in just six games and was averaging 10.5 minutes, 3.2 points and was shooting 38.5 percent from 3-point territory.

Aldrich has been slowed by an ankle injury and has played eight games, averaging 8.6 minutes, 3.0 points and 2.1 rebounds.

ALL ABUZZ

Despite the buzz surrounding Wednesday's game, Martin said he'll be able to put the trade aside.

How about Westbrook?

“It won't be nothing for me,” Westbrook said. “Nothing happened to me. It's another night, man. Those guys — James, Daequan, Cole — all still good friends, but we still want to take care of business.”

There likely will be some sort of crowd reaction whenever Martin and Harden defend each other on the court.

“It's the game of basketball,” Martin said with a smile. “It's nothing I haven't heard before or he hasn't heard before.”

THE FLIP SIDE

From the middle of the first quarter to the middle of the third quarter of Monday night's record-setting 114-69 home victory over Charlotte, the Thunder outscored the Bobcats 75-19 in a 23-minute span.

“Wow,” Brooks said, not realizing the numbers.

Brooks recalled being on the wrong side of a similar score at Cleveland on Nov. 26, 2008, his third game as Thunder coach, when the Cavaliers jumped out to a 13-0 lead and led by as many as 42 in a 117-82 victory.

LeBron James played only 17 minutes for the Cavs and had 14 points, while Kevin Durant's plus-minus for the game was minus-35.

QUOTABLE

Brooks said he envisions a warm reception for Harden during pregame introductions: “I'm sure they're going to cheer him on when they announce his name and then cheer us for the rest of the game. That's what our fans do. We've got the best fans in the league. I don't see them doing anything other than cheering our team.”



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