A byproduct of the Thunder’s nine-game winning streak and its 33-21 record being 10 games better than last season’s final win total is a changed attitude. Players are now walking into games with confidence that wasn’t present last year. "We expect to win every game we play,” said Nick Collison. "We’re disappointed when we don’t play well.” The Thunder is 20-7 since Dec. 23, and the seven losses over that span have come by a combined 26 points. That figure includes a 10-point loss to Chicago, a sign of how good the Thunder’s play has been of late. "I think we have a good chance of winning every time we step in,” said Kevin Durant. "Versus last year and the year before, when it was, ‘Just come out and play our hardest and see what happens,’ I think this year we got an attitude that we can win games when we play. So that’s what makes it fun.”
ANALYZING DURANT’S SCORING STREAKWhile Durant downplays his streak of 28 games with at least 25 points, coaches and teammates credit Durant’s diligence for allowing him to assemble such a stretch. "KD is as consistent as a worker as we have on our team,” said Thunder coach Scott Brooks. "It’s based on his consistency, his preparation, his approach to the game. He prepares himself every day to be a better player. It doesn’t surprise me that he has success. He works. He watches film every day, and he’s going to get even better.” Said Collison: "He’s playing great. He’s obviously a very talented scorer, but he’s still making the right decisions.”
OLLIE SEES SPOT MINUTESBrooks called veteran point guard Kevin Ollie’s number at the start of the fourth quarter Sunday at Minnesota, a surprising move considering recently acquired rookie Eric Maynor has had a stranglehold on the backup minutes. Ollie played three minutes and went scoreless without an assist, rebound or turnover. Maynor played only six minutes, his lowest since coming over from Utah, and registered nothing but two fouls on the stat sheet. When asked whether Ollie, who’s played in only three games since Nov. 22, will begin receiving the backup minutes again, Brooks said: ‘We’ll see. I like the fact that we have three point guards that play a good brand of basketball.”
WESTBROOK CONTINUES TO IMPRESSWith 44.4 seconds left to play against the Timberwolves, Russell Westbrook pulled down his 10th rebound to give him his second career triple-double. The second-year point guard was a rebound shy of the feat Saturday in New York, and he nearly had a triple-double on three other occasions this month. "I wouldn’t say I was waiting on it,” Westbrook said. "But I’ve been so close so many times throughout this year that one had to crack. I’m just thankful.” In seven February games, Westbrook is averaging 19.6 points, 9.7 assists, 7.7 rebounds and 2.3 steals.
BRIEFLYAs expected, the Thunder waived Matt Harpring on Monday and signed Antonio Anderson to a 10-day contract. Anderson, a 6-foot-6 guard out of Memphis, averaged 15.5 points, 5.9 assists and 4.0 rebounds in 32 games with the Rio Grande Valley Vipers this season. He will wear jersey No. 8. ... Phoenix guard Steve Nash is not expected to play tonight to rest his abdomen/back. ...Six mascots from across the NBA will be in the Ford Center on Sunday during the Thunder’s game against Toronto to help celebrate Thunder mascot Rumble’s birthday.