Thabo Sefolosha, acquired in a trade two weeks ago from Chicago, has lived up to his reputation as a defensive stopper. The Swiss product, adept at slashing to the basket, has averaged 14.3 points the past four games.
"That helps because we’re not relying on jump shots,” said Thunder teammate Nick Collison. "We all know there are nights if you’re not hitting jump shots, you don’t have a chance. We don’t have post players where you throw the ball inside and get to the basket. When we’re attacking the basket, we’re a much better team.”
STRANGE BUT TRUEThe Thunder’s season-long, three-game winning streak has been during a stretch when Kevin Durant has been sidelined with a sprained ankle. Jeff Green, the team’s second-leading scorer, has missed the last two games. Both players remain day-to-day and are questionable for this weekend. "There’s no question we’re a better team with those guys,” said Thunder coach Scott Brooks. "But when you have guys out, I’ve told our guys from Day 1, we have 14 guys. It takes us all to make a team successful and make it work. It’s hard to (play well after sitting out several games).”
MUCH IMPROVEDOklahoma City is 13-16 since New Year’s Eve. That’s a dramatic improvement compared to a 3-29 start that had some suggesting the Thunder might challenge the 76ers’ single-season futility record (9-73). "The biggest thing is our guys stayed together,” Brooks said. "When you have a team that’s not winning, it’s easy to point fingers.