Nenad Krstic left Sunday’s game against Toronto for good midway through the third period with what team officials described as an injured ankle. The Thunder’s starting center was battling in the painted area when a player backed into him and caused Krstic to hunch over in an effort to reach for his leg while wincing in pain. A team spokesman, however, said the ankle injury isn’t expected to be an issue. The deeper concern is that Krstic banged his already injured right thumb against the Raptors and the injury could become a setback. Krstic scored 16 points on 7-for-9 shooting with three rebounds in 21 minutes. It was his highest scoring total since another 16-point effort on Jan. 18 at Atlanta.
LAUNCHING FROM LONG RANGEThe Thunder had its best perimeter shooting night in a month against Toronto, going 6-for-12 from beyond the 3-point line against a much more skilled shooting Raptors squad. Oklahoma City hadn’t shot 50 percent or better from long range since going 5-for-9 (55.6 percent) against Dallas on Jan. 29. Jeff Green led the Thunder on Sunday, hitting all three of his 3-point attempts. Kevin Durant went 2-for-3 from behind the arc.
HOCKEY TOWNRaptors coach Jay Triano’s brother, Jeff, played minor league hockey in the Toronto Maple Leafs system years ago so it was understandable Triano postponed his pre-game press conference until after Sidney Crosby scored the overtime goal to lift Canada to a 3-2 win over the USA. "I think this (hockey) game was quite pivotal for the success of the (Winter) Olympics,” Triano said. "There was some tragedy before Opening Ceremonies. But overall, the Canadians did very well. It was a great way to wrap up the Olympics in your host country.” As for the dramatic outcome, "I’m a hockey fan. But to be honest, the fact the gold medal is on a day we play takes a little bit away from our preparation today getting ready for tonight’s game.”
THUNDER WINS AWARDThe Thunder received a Stevie Award, one of the most prestigious business honors, last week in Miami Beach, Fla. for its front-line customer service team. The Thunder was the only pro sports organization honored. Competing with international organizations and companies, other winners included Kohl’s Department stores, DHL Exppress, Marriott International, Sherwin-Williams, Royal Caribbean and AT&T Business Direct. The award’s moniker is taken from the name "Stephen,” derived from the Greek for "crowned.” The Thunder also is a finalist for a SAMMY Award (Sales Advertising Marketing Management Idea of the Year), which honors sports organizations that have demonstrated creativity. Other 2010 SAMMY finalists include: The Milwaukee Brewers, Seattle Sounders and Toronto Maple Leafs.
BRIEFLYWith 1.8 seconds remaining in the first half, Krstic hit his first 3-pointer of the season and just the second of his career. It gave the Thunder a 61-47 lead at the half.