Thunder notebook: UCLA mutual admiration society
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The Thunder uncharacteristically struggled from the free-throw line in the first 3 1/2 quarters, but converted its last 11 attempts â€” including 10 straight in the final 43.3 seconds â€” to finish at 80 percent (32 for 40).
The Thunder, which handily leads the league in free-throw percentage (.865), has not shot below 80 percent from the line all season.
The Thunder's Kevin Durant and Beasley were teammates from ages 9-13 in Maryland playing youth ball for the PG Jaguars, who won multiple AAU national titles.
â€œI'm sure their philosophy was to outscore teams and not defend and rebound at that age,â€ Brooks said. â€œI can see Kevin being a shooter at age 9. He was probably 6-(foot)-1 and 100 pounds.â€
Beasley played center and said he was about an inch taller than Durant at the time.
â€œI'd get about 30 rebounds a game and he'd get 30-plus points,â€ Beasley said of Durant. â€œHe always worked on his game, on his handle.â€
Asked if Durant shot from long range at age 9, Beasley smiled said: â€œThis (the NBA) ain't nothing. He's been doing this since Day One.â€
Westbrook was named the Western Conference player of the week, for games played Nov. 15 through Sunday. Amar'e Stoudemire of New York was the player of the week in the Eastern Conference. Westbrook led the Thunder to a 4-0 week, averaging 23.0 points, 7.8 assists, 3.5 rebounds and scored 31 points at Boston to help the Thunder defeat the Celtics. â€¦ Durant wore his new shoe model for the first time Monday, the Nike KD3.
â€œI did not know that. Who was the passer?â€ â€“ Brooks, when informed Durant and Beasley were teammates growing up.
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