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Thunder notebook: OKC plays fourth game in five nights

The Thunder dove right into the condensed 66-game schedule.
BY JOHN ROHDE, Staff Writer, jrohde@opubco.com Published: December 29, 2011
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BUSY START

The Thunder dove right into the condensed 66-game schedule. Thursday was OKC's fourth game in the first five nights of the season.

Were Thunder players feeling the effects?

“No, not really,” coach Scott Brooks said before the game. “Four in five nights, it's a built-in excuse, but we're not going to go there. We understand we have a job to do for 66 nights, and this is one of them.”

Kevin Durant entered Thursday's game tied for fifth in the NBA in minutes played at 38.0 per game.

Asked if he was experiencing any fatigue, Durant said: “No, I hope not. We've been out for a long time. We've been looking forward to these four games in five nights.”

After the game, Brooks' answer had changed. “After a game, you want your team to have an empty gas tank, and our gas tank is empty.” Brooks said.

SEEING 30-50

Two-time scoring champ Kevin Durant has scored at least 30 points and shot better than 50 percent from the field in all four Thunder games.

Only two other players in the last 30 years had opened a season with three straight 30-point games while making more than half their field-goal attempts in each: Shaquille O'Neal for the Orlando Magic in 1993-1994 and Ray Allen for the Milwaukee Bucks in 2001-2002.

The last player to score 30 points and shoot 50 percent or better in the first four games was Milwaukee's Marques Johnson in the 1978-79 season. He did so in the first six games.

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