Better floor spacing has been stressed at practice since Tuesday night's careless 105-101 overtime loss at home to Memphis, but Thunder coach Scott Brooks said this is not a change in strategy. The Thunder will still be in attack mode.
“Teams always load the paint up on us,” Brooks said. “Statistically we don't have a great 3-point shooting percentage (33.6 percent; tied for 25th in the league), so the strategy is most teams will force you to take perimeter shots. One of the things is, we don't give into that strategy. We attack the basket. We get to the free throw line. I feel confident that we're going to make shots if it's the right play or the right pass or the right spacing and those are the ones you drive hard and draw a defender then kick it out to the open shooter. Those are the 3s that we make. The bad ones are the forced ones, the one-on-one shots.”
ON THE RECORD
14-3: First game after a loss.
14-1: Shooting 50 percent or better
5-8: Opponent shoots 50 percent or better.
17-4: Kevin Durant scores 30 points or more.
20-4: More assists than opponents.
12-3: At least 10 steals.
22-6: Outrebounding the opponent.
6-3: First game back-to-back.
6-3: Second game back-to-back.
23-14: Fifteen or fewer turnovers.
10-4: Sixteen or more turnovers
In its only previous meeting against Sacramento this season, the Thunder held the Kings to 42.7 percent from the field and 18.2 (2 for 11) from 3-point range in a 102-87 victory at Oklahoma City Arena. … Kings forward DeMarcus Cousins is third among rookies in scoring (13.9) and second in rebounding (8.). He trails Blake Griffin (22.6) and John Wall (14.8) in scoring and Griffin (12.6) in rebounding. … Sacramento point guard Tyreke Evans is second in scoring (18.0), third in assists (8.3) and fourth in rebounding (4.8) among sophomores in the league.
“He has a smooth 3-point shot that doesn't take a lot of energy. He gets it up there with ease and he doesn't jump. (Taking) 25 shots can wear you out in a minute and if you get to the later rounds, I think he's going to win it. I guarantee he'll win.” — Brooks, on Durant's chances in the 3-point contest.