Thunder coach Scott Brooks knows what Eric Maynor is going through in so many ways.
Brooks was a backup point guard throughout his 10-year NBA career. He also suffered a serious knee injury.
Midway through the fourth quarter in a victory at Houston on Saturday night, Maynor suffered a season-ending injury to his right anterior cruciate ligament (ACL). Brooks' career-ending injury was to a medial collateral ligament.
“One of the things I know about Eric is he's a tough kid,” Brooks said. “That backup point guard spot is a very challenging spot because you don't get a lot of minutes. When things go well, you get a little credit and when things go bad, you get all the blame. I played it (backup point guard) for a lot years, and Eric had the mental toughness to go through all that. He's playing behind a really good point guard.
“Eric's a smart player. He understands that position. He's a really, really good player.”
Brooks expressed confidence Maynor will return for the 2012-13 season.
“He will win,” Brooks said. “He will get back.”
In the second quarter of Sunday night's game against the San Antonio Spurs, Thunder center Kendrick Perkins and the Spurs' DeJuan Blair were whistled for double-technical fouls.
Perkins now has three technicals on the season. Because of the shortened schedule, this year's limit is 13 before a one-game suspension rather than the usual 16.
Here is the NBA's fine breakdown: Technicals 1-4 – $2,000 fine each; technicals 5-8 – $3,000 fine each; technicals 9-12 – $4,000 fine each (with a warning letter sent when the violator reaches his 10th technical); technical No. 13 – $5,000 fine, plus one game suspension; each additional technical – $5,000 fine each; two additional technicals (15, 17, 19, etc.) – $5,000 fine, plus one-game suspension.
OKC reserve guard James Harden went an uncharacteristic 6 for 9 from the free-throw line against the Spurs and saw his consecutive free-throw streak end at 47. Harden missed for the first time since his first two attempts at Memphis on Dec. 28, which was seven games ago. … Thunder reserve point guard Royal Ivey made his season debut with 6:10 left in the fourth quarter. … Former Oklahoma State standout James Anderson, who was averaging 20-plus minutes earlier in the season, had played just 10 total minutes in the two previous games before Sunday. He entered for the first time with 5:17 left in the third quarter, never left and finished with four points and three rebounds.
The Thunder will not practice Monday, but the team has a travel day and will fly charter to Memphis at 2:45 p.m. OKC plays its final game of the season at FedExForum at 7 p.m. Tuesday. That's followed by a 7 p.m. game Wednesday at New Orleans, wrapping up five games in six nights.
“This whole season now is for Eric. It's a tough loss. We were all sad. We spent some time with him last night at his house after we got back just to give him comfort and show how much we care.” – Harden on Maynor