An increasingly inexplicable trend the Thunder has developed has been dominance on the road and mediocrity at home. After a 99-98 loss at Houston on Sunday, the Thunder is 6-2 away from home and just 5-4 inside Oklahoma City Arena.
â€œI have no clue. That's baffling me,â€ said Thunder coach Scott Brooks. â€œWe got great crowds, and it has nothing to do with our fan base because they bring it out every night. I don't know. I've been trying to figure that out. We just have to keep plugging away, and working and hopefully that turns around.â€
Brooks then cited toughness as a potential factor.
â€œWe have a toughness on the road that a lot of teams would like to have,â€ Brooks said. â€œWe have to be able to do that at home. For some reason, when we're down five or six points on the road we know that we're going to just keep chipping away and battling. Sometimes that deficit goes from six to 10 or 12, and we don't have that same fight and resolve that we had on the road. But it'll come.â€
WINNING CLOSE GAMES BECOMING A STAPLE FOR THE THUNDER
After Sunday's loss at Houston, the Thunder is 8-1 in games decided by seven points or less. Those victories have been far from flawless and anything but pretty, but the Thunder has found ways to win.
â€œI like what we're doing when the game is going into the fourth quarter. We're competing,â€ Brooks said before Sunday's game. â€œWe have a mentality to just take every possession and finish them off with a rebound or a good shot. And that's how you win your close games. You're not going to win them all, but you have to put yourself in a position to rebound and to take a good shot every time. And we do a good job with that.â€
SEFOLOSHA SUPPLYING DOUBLE-DOUBLES
Before Sunday's game, guard Thabo Sefolosha recorded double-doubles in two of the Thunder's past three games. He scored 13 points with 10 rebounds at Indiana and had 13 points and 11 rebounds against Minnesota. Sefolosha has now notched six double-doubles as a member of the Thunder.
â€œI think it's just being at the right spot at the right time,â€ Sefolosha said. â€œMy teammates are finding me when I'm open and when I'm cutting to the lane. And the rebounds, it's all about position and boxing out to try to help the team out by getting those rebounds, especially on the defensive end. Often, we are smaller than the rest of the teams so everybody has to do the work to help our big guys out.â€
Nenad Krstic missed his second consecutive game Sunday night because of back spasms. Serge Ibaka received his ninth career start in place of Krstic. â€¦The Thunder franchise has lost 11 straight games at Houston after Sunday's game. The franchise's last win at Houston came Feb. 22, 2005. â€¦Tonight's home game against New Orleans will complete the Thunder's fourth back-to-back set this season. OKC is 3-0 on the second night of back-to-back games.