Coach Scott Brooks postponed Tuesday’s practice 35 minutes to allow players and coaches to watch the inauguration of Barack Obama, the country’s first African-American president. "It was an important day for all of us,” Brooks said. "To watch a historical moment, it was pretty awesome to see it transpire in front of our face. The guys enjoyed it. It was pretty cool to see it.” Thunder players and coaches gathered in the team’s film room at the practice facility and watched the ceremony. "It was a great thing to watch,” said Jeff Green. "It was my first time ever watching it, so it was kind of fun, especially to see how many people were there. "It was good to sit down and watch and witness history.” Earl Watson credited Obama for uniting the country and encouraging the younger generation to become more active. "Just seeing how many people attended that, it gave me chills,” Watson said. "It gives you a new sense of this country being united.”
Durant, Green avoiding sophomore slumpsGreen and Kevin Durant have quietly become two of the most productive players from the 2007 draft class. Durant ranks first in scoring among second-year players at 24.1 points per game, and Green is third at 16.2 points per game behind the Los Angeles Clippers’ Al Thornton’s 16.8 points per contest. Green attributed their success to working out together all summer, including at Team USA’s training camp in Las Vegas and at the team’s summer league in Orlando.
Going WestThe Thunder begins a two-game West Coast trip tonight against Golden State before traveling to L.A. to play the Clippers on Friday. The Thunder is 1-1 against the Warriors and 0-2 against Los Angeles. "We’ve just got to come out ready to play,” Green said. "A lot of effort, a lot of energy. It’s going to be tough, but we’ve just got to continue to build on what we’ve been accomplishing these last two weeks.”
BrieflyDurant (left shoulder) participated in only half of Tuesday’s practice and did not play in the session-ending scrimmage. ... Joe Smith is still listed as day-to-day with an injured left knee and is doubtful for tonight’s game. By Darnell Mayberry