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Thunder notebook: Home struggles

BY MIKE BALDWIN, Staff Writer, Published: December 18, 2009
The Thunder has fared better on the road (6-5) than the Ford Center (6-7) even though statistically it doesn’t add up.

Oklahoma City is scoring more points at home (98.3) than on the road (95.0) and is shooting better at home (46.0 percent) than on the road (43.2).

The best explanation is the home schedule has included the Lakers, Celtics, Cavaliers, Mavericks, Trail Blazers, Rockets and Magic.

Still, the highlight of a 12-12 start has been road wins at San Antonio, Utah, Miami and Detroit. The only marquee home win was against Orlando.

After missing a fourth-quarter layup against Dallas, Russell Westbrook jumped up and slapped the net out of frustration when play stopped. Westbrook isn’t a great shooter but he’s rarely experienced a slump like his current one.

Over the past seven games, Westbrook has shot 32.1 percent. Remove a solid outing against Memphis and Westbrook has shot 28.0 percent in OKC’s other six December games, 17.6 percent on 3-pointers.

"He has a good shot and has good form,” said coach Scott Brooks. "He just has to keep getting reps in practice... It’s going to improve. It’s not improving at the speed that he probably wants, or I would like, but he’s practicing hard. That’s all I can ask.”

Westbrook shot 39.8 percent overall his rookie season, 27.1 percent beyond the arc. His shooting stats are similar but have dipped slightly below last year’s pace because of his recent slump.

ESPN’s Tim Legler listed his top 10 storylines thus far. No. 3 was the emergence of Oklahoma City in the West.