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Thunder notebook: No mask for Smith

Oklahoman Modified: December 10, 2008 at 10:43 am •  Published: December 10, 2008
Thunder forward Joe Smith, sidelined the past two games with a leg contusion, went through all of practice Tuesday and plans to play tonight.

"In the fourth quarter in Orlando I came out I had a knot right above my knee,” Smith said. "The more I sat the stiffer it got. The next day when I woke up it was too sore to do anything. ... I feel pretty good now. Actually when I warmed up (Monday) night it felt good then. I decided to wait one more game.”

Smith also will shed a fitted mask he’s worn since suffering a broken nose in preseason.

"I didn’t use it all today in practice,” Smith said, smiling. "It felt different. I can actually see the whole court now. It restricted me a little bit, trying look up or down or to the side. It feels pretty good to be without it.”

Holiday Toy Drive
The Thunder will be accepting unwrapped toys for a Holiday Toy Drive to benefit the Salvation Army before tonight’s game. Toys will be collected at the Ford Center entrances. Fans who donate toys will receive a voucher for two free tickets to an upcoming Thunder game, courtesy of Cox Oklahoma.

Positive attitude
The Thunder has lost 18 of its last 19 games. When teams get on a bad streak, sometimes losing becomes a habit and losses don’t sting as much.

"That’s there in the back of people’s minds, something you really don’t want to creep into your locker room,” Smith said. "We’ve all been in situations where we’ve been winners and we’ve been losers.


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