Thunder notebook: Kendrick Perkins not happy with team's body language
Coach Scott Brooks notices it, too. “Usually, we have great energy, great spirit, great enthusiasm. I thought it was just a step below of where we like it to be,” Brooks said.
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In the last 20 games, Thunder sixth man James Harden is shooting 52.8 percent (104 for 197) from the field, including 46.8 percent (44 for 94) from 3-point range.
In his 55 appearances off the bench this season, Harden has scored in double-figures 52 times.
The Thunder is 12-1 when Harden scores 20-plus and his 16.7 scoring average leads all NBA reserves.
Only eight games remain in the regular season, with three at home and five on the road: Sacramento on Friday at 7 p.m. at Chesapeake Energy Arena; at Minnesota at 7 p.m. Saturday; at the Clippers at 9:30 p.m. Monday; at Phoenix at 9 p.m. Wednesday; at Sacramento at 9 p.m. next Friday; at the Los Angeles Lakers at 2:30 p.m. on April 22; against Sacramento at The Peake on April 24 at 7 p.m.; and against Denver at The Peake on April 25 at 7 p.m.
“I see these next two games and they should be wins for us,” Perkins said. “I'm not guaranteeing anything, but they're supposed to be wins for us. We've got to take care of business. Then we get our little rematch Monday against the Clippers.”
As for playing the Kings three times in 11 days, Brooks said he and his staff will review the season's earlier meeting – a 106-101 loss at Sacramento on Feb. 9 – on Thursday and show footage to the team on Friday morning.
“We will address some of the things that bothered us, that hurt us in the (previous) game,” Brooks said. “Three times in 11 nights, we're just worried about the first time (Friday's game)."
TIME magazine writer Sean Gregory is in town working on a Durant piece. Gregory has written sports with TIME and TIME.com for the last decade, covered the Linsanity story earlier this season and is coming off work at the Final Four and Masters.
A television crew from the Spanish network Deportes Univision did a lengthy interview Thursday with Thunder forward Serge Ibaka.
The Thunder had only film session Thursday, but several players were seen doing individual work on the practice courts afterward. … In 58 games this year, OKC is limiting its opponent to 96.3 points on 42.6-percent shooting. Through the first 58 games last season, the Thunder allowed 102.2 points and 46.6-percent shooting. … OKC is 55-20 with Perkins as a starter since last year's trade with Boston. … The Thunder has won five straight at home against the Kings.
Perkins on the playoffs: “Once the playoffs start, everybody has the same record anyways – 0-0. Last year, you had the Spurs going into the playoffs winning however many in a row (57-13 at one point in the season) and stuff happens (Top-seeded San Antonio lost 4-2 in the opening round to No. 8-seeded Memphis). I'm not trying to jinx us, but things happen.”
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