Thunder notebook: OKC defense sets NBA low

BY JOHN ROHDE, BERRY TRAMEL AND JENNI CARLSON, Staff Writers, jrohde@opubco.com; btramel@opubco.com; jcarlson@opubco.com Published: May 12, 2011

The Oklahoma City Thunder held the Memphis Grizzlies to 72 points and 35.9 percent shooting in Game 5.

That's the lowest point total against the Thunder this season (92 games) and the fewest points allowed so far in the playoffs this year. It also was one point shy of the franchise playoff record of 71 set by the Seattle SuperSonics against the Los Angeles Lakers on April, 27, 1995.

"It was one of our top defensive games of the season," Thunder point guard Eric Maynor said. "They always say that defense wins championships. That is what we are trying to get to, and so we have to defend like we did tonight in every game."

 

REST FOR THE WEARY

The Thunder had the advantage of young legs coming off the triple-overtime Game 4 in Memphis on Monday. Now the Thunder has the advantage of having rested its starting lineup in Game 5.

Kevin Durant played 30 minutes, 46 seconds. Russell Westbrook played 25:12, Kendrick Perkins played 22:50, Serge Ibaka played 21:16 and Thabo Sefolosha 16:05.

"It is sometimes nice because you get to sit back and watch your teammates play and see what they bring to the court," Westbrook said. "We have one of the best benches in the league, and tonight that was shown."

 

MIKE CHECK

Thunder coach Scott Brooks and other NBA coaches frequently are miked during the playoffs.

"It is a little awkward because there are some interesting conversations that take place," Brooks said. "You have to be aware. Sometimes you're not. You might just be talking to one of your assistants casually. You always have to say, 'I'm miked,' but I think it's great for the game. Fans ... you really get to see what goes on in an NBA timeout. I just speak from the heart, and whatever comes out, hopefully it makes sense.

"There are some interesting conversations. There's times where I really don't understand what Serge is yelling at me. Hopefully they don't mike that part of our conversation. I'm clueless. Seriously, Serge, when he gets emotional, all that work he's put in with the English language the past two years just goes out the door. You don't know what he's saying. The players are all looking at me, and I'm looking at the players, and now, we're all looking for Thabo to help us understand everything."



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