Though Detroit entered Monday's game with a 4-13 mark, Thunder players were well-aware what potentially could happen given last Wednesday's embarrassing loss at 1-12 Washington.
OKC (14-3) jumped out early against the depleted Pistons and led by as many as 32 points in the second quarter of its 99-79 victory.
“I don't look at Washington as just the worst loss in the world because their record's not good,” Thunder coach Scott Brooks said. “Every team can beat you if you don't play well. You have to make shots, you have to defend and they (the Wizards) did a better job of that.”
The Thunder emphasized rebounding against Detroit and outrebounded the Pistons 57-45.
“Every game, we have to come ready,” starting guard Thabo Sefolosha said. “It doesn't matter who we play.”
Though the Thunder won its last two home games handily against New York (104-92 on Jan. 14) and Detroit, the fourth quarter was an eyesore in both contests.
Against the Knicks, OKC was outscored 27-12 in the final period, shot 3 for 17 from the field, 6 for 9 from the free-throw line and committed six turnovers.
Against the Pistons, the Thunder was outscored 21-14, shot 5 for 16 from the field, 3 for 5 from the line and committed eight turnovers.
While discussing Russell Westbrook's new five-year, $80-million contract extension, Brooks playfully was asked what he did when he signed his biggest contract as an NBA player.
“I was very excited,” deadpanned Brooks, whose max salary was $750,000 with the Dallas Mavericks in 1995-96. “I went out and bought a new pair of shoes.”
Brooks played 10-plus years in the NBA and was with seven different teams.
Asked what his longest contract was, Brooks said: “I was year-to-year a lot of the time … Wait, not even year-to-year but day-to-day. My first contract was basically hour-to-hour until Dec. 23, and that was the cut date. The NBA was cruel back then. That had the cut date right before Christmas. So you were either happy or miserable.”
READY … ACTION
Brandon T. Jackson, the co-star in Kevin Durant's upcoming movie “THUNDERSTRUCK,” sat courtside with Durant family and friends during the game against the Pistons.
The movie's film crew shot footage Monday and further footage will be shot inside Chesapeake Energy Arena on Tuesday afternoon with local residents serving as extras. The crew also will shoot Wednesday night's home game against New Orleans.
OKC reserve forward Nick Collison (left ankle sprain) left in the second quarter and did not return. His status is day-to-day. … In the second quarter, Thunder center Kendrick Perkins picked up his sixth technical foul of the season. … Former Oklahoma State and Detroit Lions running back Barry Sanders and his Stanford-bound son Barry Jr. were in attendance. … Charlie Villanueva (ankle), Will Bynum (foot) and Ben Gordon (shoulder) did not make the trip for Detroit. … Tyler Ryan of Edmond received a standing ovation from the sellout crowd of 18,203 when he was introduced as January's Devon Community Hero. All Thunder players stood and applauded. Pistons rookie Jonas Jerebko applauded as he walked onto the court. … Despite starting two centers in Ben Wallace and Greg Monroe, the Pistons still rank last in the league in rebounding (37.5).
The Thunder hosts New Orleans (3-14) on Wednesday at 7 p.m. The Hornets have lost eight straight.
OKC then has a three-game road trip at Golden State on Friday at 9:30 p.m., at the Los Angeles Clippers on Monday at 9:30 p.m. and at Dallas on Feb. 1 at 7 p.m. on ESPN. The Thunder's next home game is Feb. 3 against Memphis.
Brooks on how he compared to Westbrook as a player: “I'm glad my mom had me 20 years earlier because I don't think I would have made the NBA if I had to play against guys like Russell.”