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Thunder notebook: Trying to break away from bad habits

by Darnell Mayberry Published: January 23, 2011

Overshadowed in the Thunder's exhilarating 101-98 win over New York on Saturday night was a poor performance on both offense and defense throughout much of the game.

The Thunder shot just 38.6 percent for the game, while allowing the Knicks to score 60 first-half points, including 19 fast break points.

“That first half, that was an embarrassing performance defensively,” said Thunder coach Scott Brooks. “They were getting anything they wanted. The only good thing about it is it was only 24 minutes long.”


On Saturday, guard Daequan Cook received his first playing time since Nov. 12. He missed his only two field goals, both of them 3-pointers, but his 9 minutes, 42 seconds marked the first time since Nov. 4 that he logged more than five minutes.

“He's had about two weeks of great practices,” Brooks said. “And it was just to reward him. I wasn't planning on playing him, but the game told me that he deserved an opportunity…It wouldn't be fair for me to just continue to not look (at him) and address it. I thought he's been terrific in practice. He's kept a great attitude all year long.”


Kevin Durant is scheduled to appear in a new Gatorade commercial around the All-Star break. The spot, which Durant filmed inside Oklahoma City Arena last Thursday, features Durant going through his customary preparations for a game by using one of the sports drink company's new products, “Prime,” to help him prepare. …Russell Westbrook also appears in a new commercial, serving as a pitchman for BancFirst. In the one-minute spot, Westbrook plays a coach to a group of children who are named as cities and towns throughout the state. As Westbrook provides instructions to the kids, he mentions each city and town by name. …Thunder forward Serge Ibaka is on the verge of being granted citizenship in Spain. If Ibaka receives clearance as expected, it would allow him to join Spain's national team and compete for the country in international play. Ibaka, a native of the Republic of Congo, moved to Spain at 17 to begin his professional career and considers the country his second home. …Keep an eye on the Washington Wizards tonight. The Wizards play Madison Square Garden looking to notch their first road win of the year against the struggling New York Knicks. If the Wizards fail to win tonight, they will come to Oklahoma City to face the Thunder with an 0-21 road record.

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by Darnell Mayberry
OKC Thunder Senior Reporter
Darnell Mayberry grew up in Langston, Okla. and is now in his third stint in the Sooner state. After a year and a half at Bishop McGuinness High, he finished his prep years in Falls Church, Va., before graduating from Norfolk State University in...
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