Thunder coach Scott Brooks is well aware starting center Kendrick Perkins is on pace for 24 technical fouls this season.
"Oh, we've talked a few times about it," Brooks said with a smile. "He says he's going to slow up when he gets to eight."
Players will be suspended with their 13th technical this season and every other technical thereafter.
Asked if he has whispered into Perkins' ear about the frantic "T" pace, Brooks said: "It's a loud whisper. We've had multiple loud whispers.
"He's an emotional guy and other teams know that. If you want to pick a fight, he's ready and willing. We have to control it, but he plays with that. He needs to play with that chip on his shoulder. He makes us good because he has that. He brings toughness every time he's on the floor."
During the 149-day NBA lockout, New Orleans coach Monty Williams took note of Thunder players gathering on three separate occasions for voluntary four-day camps in Austin, Texas, Lexington, Ky., and at Southern Nazarene in Bethany.
Williams believes those get-togethers help explain OKC's 10-2 start.
"They're together," Williams said. "They've had experience. They've failed, in their eyes, in the playoffs. They're a team that wants to win a championship. I see experience. I see their bench cheering when they make plays. I see young guys stepping up and making plays. (Nick) Collison and the older guys, they seem like they haven't missed a beat. They're well-coached. They're primed to make a big run this year."
Thunder reserve center Cole Aldrich rejoined the team Wednesday after missing Tuesday's contest at Memphis to visit his ailing grandfather in Minnesota.
"He's not doing very well," Aldrich said of his father's 83-year-old father. "I was satisfied with going home and seeing him, spending as much time as I could with him. It's one of those hard things you go through and basketball helps get it off your mind."
The Thunder has Thursday off and will practice at 11 a.m. Friday in preparation for their lone game this season against New York at 7 p.m. on Saturday inside Chesapeake Energy Arena. That is followed by a three-game road trip that is spread over six days — Boston (Monday), Washington (Wednesday) and New Jersey (Jan. 21).
The Thunder has played 12 games in the first 18 days of the season, but OKC's next back-to-back won't be until Feb. 6-7. … With Philadelphia's loss at New York and the Los Angeles Lakers winning in overtime at Utah on Wednesday night, the Thunder has the league's longest active winning streak at five. … Kevin Durant's streak of 24 made free throws ended with a first-quarter miss. A career 87.9-percent free-throw shooter entering the game, Durant is shooting just 79.8 percent (71 for 89) this season. … OKC entered the game leading the league in free-throw shooting at 81.0 percent, but shot just 69.2 percent (18 for 26) from the line Wednesday. … New Orleans (3-7) is now 0-7 when the opposing team scores 90-plus points.
"They have three All-Stars. I think (James) Harden is an All-Star right now." — Williams on OKC