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Thunder notebook: OKC peaking with playoffs looming

by Darnell Mayberry Modified: March 26, 2011 at 6:49 pm •  Published: March 26, 2011

Only 10 games will be left on the Thunder's regular season schedule following Sunday's matchup with Portland. Oklahoma City enters the game having won 11 of its past 13, with its last two losses coming by a combined eight points.

“I feel like we're playing great basketball right now,” said point guard Eric Maynor. “We just got to keep it up.”

The chief goal now for the Thunder is to now tighten up things before postseason play.

The Thunder's playoff seeding has essentially been set. With a four-game lead over Denver, it would take a near choke job for the Thunder to fall out of the fourth seed, even with two games remaining against the Nuggets.

At this point, the Thunder is more focused on enhancing chemistry with the three players it acquired at the trading deadline, Kendrick Perkins, Nazr Mohammed and Nate Robinson. The Thunder is 11-4 since the two trades but 11-2 in games in which the new additions have played and 5-1 with Perkins as a starter.

“We're definitely starting to figure out one another,” said Mohammed. “But we still got a ways to go.

“We're still trying to improve our defense. We're definitely trying to improve our half-court execution because that's what playoff basketball is about. The open court, fast break points, we're going to get those. But we're trying to improve in other areas.”


After starting his Thunder career 5-for-5 from the foul line, Perkins, a career 60-percent free throw shooter, has gone 2-for-11 from the stripe. Perkins missed five of six foul shots Friday against Minnesota, including one air-ball on an attempt in the third quarter.

“It's more in your head. You see a few go down and you get comfortable,” Perkins said. “I missed one (early against the Wolves) and I was messed up ever since then. It happens.

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by Darnell Mayberry
OKC Thunder Senior Reporter
Darnell Mayberry grew up in Langston, Okla. and is now in his third stint in the Sooner state. After a year and a half at Bishop McGuinness High, he finished his prep years in Falls Church, Va., before graduating from Norfolk State University in...
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