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Thunder notebook; No time to celebrate or complain for Thunder

There will be no time for Thunder point guard Russell Westbrook to complain about the officiating against Houston, because the Rockets will quickly be headed in the other direction. Westbrook also might want to holster those imaginary pistols on converted 3-pointers.
BY JOHN ROHDE Published: April 20, 2013

“When you have good transition players, it puts the defense at a disadvantage. There are so many athletic, dynamic, skilled players in this league, and their team is made up of a lot of (those) players.”

BACK-AND-FORTH

The Rockets are taking advantage of the 50-minute flight from Houston to OKC.

Houston arrived Saturday afternoon, will return home after Sunday night's game and will come back to OKC on Tuesday afternoon for Game 2 on Wednesday at 6 p.m.

YOUNG GUNS

Four seasons ago, the Thunder was the youngest team in the NBA playoffs when it faced the Los Angeles Lakers in the opening round of the playoffs.

This season, Houston is the league's youngest team.

“That was an encouraging season for them,” Rockets forward Chandler Parsons said of the Thunder. “It showed people around the world that they were for real even though they were very young. And we're the youngest team in the NBA. I think it just shows that we can play with anybody. We just want to compete. We want to go out there and make it extremely tough for them and try to steal one in Oklahoma.

“We wouldn't want to have it any other way. Obviously, we think we're better than the (No.) 8 seed, but with the Western Conference race, (with) six through eight separated by one game, it's not as bad as it looks. But there's no better way that we wanted than to play the best team in the West and try to knock them off.”

QUOTABLE

Parsons on being young, inexperienced and the underdog against OKC: “This is where players are born. This is where guys like myself and Omer (Asik) and J-Lin (Jeremy Lin), this is where you get recognized and you really become a great player in this league, especially when you go up against a guy like Durant and Westbrook and a team as good as the Thunder. It's a statement for us. It's an automatic respect. It is very similar to when the Thunder were young.”


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