Thunder coach Scott Brooks pinpointed three areas that he wants his team to focus on in this final stretch before beginning postseason play: weak side defensive help, good spacing and smart decisions on offense and taking care of the basketball.
“That's been a good trend of ours all season,” Brooks said. “A few years ago we led the league in turnovers. This year we're much better. But we still have some games that we kind of fall back into it.”
Before Friday's game, the Thunder had lowered its opponent points per game to a shade over 100 points. Its opponent field-goal percentage had fallen to 45.9 percent.
The Thunder ranked just 23rd in the league in assists at 20.4 per game but ranked 14th in turnovers at 13.9 per game.
HOT AT THE RIGHT TIME
Much has been made about the Thunder's 14-2 record in March, which marked the best record in franchise history for any month. But Brooks and the players are focused on keeping the momentum going into the last handful of regular season games and especially the postseason.
“We played good basketball the month of March, there's no question about that,” Brooks said. “Our record shows that. We're defending. We're moving the ball. We had some favorable scheduling. The home stand helped. And April gets tougher. But going into the playoffs, we definitely want to keep playing well. We're not where we want to be. This is not a complacent group of guys.”
PERKINS SHOWING PROGRESS AT THE LINE
After going 5-for-6 from the foul line Wednesday at Phoenix, center Kendrick Perkins might have stumbled upon the key to better free throw shooting.
“I probably just needed to get away from the crib for a minute and get on the road and try a new basket,” Perkins joked.