When it comes to shooting 3-pointers, Russell Westbrook is under different instructions than Kevin Durant, Daequan Cook, James Harden and others.
"I won't encourage him (Westbrook) to continue to shoot 3s," Thunder coach Scott Brooks said with a smile, "but I always tell him if he's open, and you're set, then see how it goes. I give him credit. He has improved."
While prominent outside shooters are pretty much given the green light, Westbrook's permission to shoot comes with a disclaimer.
"I don't go into a game thinking he's going to make four out of five, but if he's open, depending on the situation, I have no problem with Russell taking that shot," Brooks said.
Westbrook, who is shooting 34.8 percent from 3-point range this season, has taken only one 3-point attempt since converted 4 for 5 against Portland last Sunday.
Westbrook's new-found prowess has helped the Thunder slowly climb out of the NBA basement in 3-point percentage, from No. 30 to No. 19.
OKC is 27-9 (.750) this season in games where forward Serge Ibaka has started.
Ibaka also ranks fourth in the league in blocked shots (2.3) and earlier this year blocked at least one shot in 26 straight games, which was the NBA's longest streak at the time.
Ibaka has blocked four or more shots on 16 occasions and the Thunder is 15-1 in those games.
Durant's third annual youth basketball camp has been scheduled for June 29-30 at Heritage Hall High School. Durant will be on site the entire camp to direct activities and provide instruction and will be joined by several of the top prep and collegiate coaches from the Oklahoma City area.
Camp is open to boys and girls ages 7 to 18, who will receive an autographed camp team photo with Durant, a T-shirt, camp goody bag and the opportunity to win additional contests and prizes. Cost of the camp is $199.
Additional information and registration is available at www.kevindurantcamp.com, or by calling (513) 793-2267.
OKC has swept five back-to-backs and has three remaining, beginning with Friday night's game at Portland and a Saturday night game at the Los Angeles Clippers. The Thunder is 11-3 on the first night of a back-to-back and 8-6 on the second night. … The Thunder has won five straight and 11 of its last 12. During that span, OKC is outscoring opponents 105.0-93.7, outshooting them 47.8-42.7 percent from the field and leads the NBA in blocked shots at 7.4 per game. The Thunder is also third in steals per game at 9.2. … Only four other teams have more road victories than the Thunder's 22 (Miami, San Antonio, Dallas and the LA Lakers).
“The ref just disrespected me. I can't really say much more than that. I've been told not to speak about it. ... It was disrespectful. That's how it was. Very disrespectful." – Phoenix Suns guard Zabian Dowdell, who was ejected with 1:05 left in Tuesday night's game against the Thunder after arguing with referee Ken Mauer.