The Thunder's season-long, six-game winning streak ended at the hands of Toronto on Sunday night. But Oklahoma City is 17-5 in games following a loss. That .773 winning percentage trails only San Antonio (12-1) in games immediately following a loss.
“The only thing I can think of is just the competitive spirit of our guys,” Thunder coach Scott Brooks said when asked to explain how his team has responded to defeats. “They look at losses as a missed opportunity and they go into the next game with the mentality to make up for that loss. That's a great mindset to have.”
The attitude generally has started in practice the next day.
“We got a lot of competitors on our team and everybody wants to win. That's the main thing,” said reserve guard Eric Maynor. “We come in here and push each other and then go out there and take it out on somebody else.”
In Tuesday's practice, Maynor said, the Thunder focused on defending, sharing the ball and playing hard.
“We just want to get back to doing that because we didn't do it last game,” Maynor said.
“I think we came in here (Tuesday) and showed we're ready to get back out there and get back to work and get back in the win column.”
MAYNOR ENJOYING MARCH MADNESS
It's possible that no Thunder player is reveling in this year's men's NCAA Tournament like Maynor. Although Cole Aldrich, from Kansas, and Daequan Cook, from Ohio State, are both still rooting on their respective teams, they are both No. 1 seeds and have been expected to get this far.