Thunder notebook: OKC remains among NBA elite

By John Rohde, Staff Writer, jrohde@opubco.com Modified: January 22, 2011 at 11:05 pm •  Published: January 22, 2011
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Thanks to Kevin Durant's fade-away, game-winning, 25-footer at the final buzzer against the New York Knicks, the Thunder remains one of only four teams in the NBA to not lose more than two straight games this season.


The others are San Antonio (37-7), Boston (33-10) and Chicago (30-14).

Something had to give Saturday night. The Thunder (28-15) entered on a two-game losing streak after losses against the Lakers in Los Angeles and at Denver. The Knicks (22-21) now own a six-game losing streak and have lost seven of their last eight.

After starting the season 5-4 inside Oklahoma City Arena, OKC is now 16-6 at home with 19 sellouts, including 12 straight.

‘T' TIME

Thunder forward Serge Ibaka was slapped with his third technical foul of the season and now leads the Thunder. Russell Westbrook has two, while Thabo Sefolosha and James Harden have one each. Durant had one, but it was rescinded. Scott Brooks is one of only four NBA head coaches to not have a technical foul this season.

EARLY “CELEBRATION”

Officials had to delay the game briefly with 1:41 remaining when victory confetti fell from the ceiling during a timeout. When the victory actually came for the Thunder, what remained of the confetti was released.

THREE-FEAT

With the Thunder just 5 for 37 (.135) from 3-point range the last two games, Brooks decided to activate shooting guard Daequan Cook and inserted him with 6:43 left in the second quarter. Cook went 0 for 2 and the Thunder went 5-for-17 (.294), with the game being decided on a 3-pointer from Durant at the final buzzer. Center Byron Mullens replaced Cook on the inactive list.

AZUBUIKE EYES RETURN

As he iced the long scar on his left knee an hour before tipoff, Knicks guard and former Tulsa Victory Christian standout Kelenna Azubuike insists he is close to playing for the first time since Nov. 14, 2009, after major surgery on his patella tendon.



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