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.
WESTBROOK’S SLUMPAfter 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.
THUNDER MAKES TOP 10ESPN’s Tim Legler listed his top 10 storylines thus far. No. 3 was the emergence of Oklahoma City in the West. Legler wrote: "Kevin Durant no longer a one-dimensional player looking for his next forced shot, has become an MVP candidate by learning how to make the game easier for his teammates, conscientiously defending and becoming a dominant rebounder at his position. Coach Scotty Brooks has done a fantastic job with this group making them believe they can matter now. Along with Russell Westbrook, Jeff Green and rookie James Harden, Durant has the Thunder poised for a run at the playoffs. We have another relevant team in a league that has become increasingly top-heavy in recent years.
ONE MILLIONTH FANWith Wednesday’s game a sellout, the Thunder is less than one thousand short of reaching one million fans after 54 home games since the team relocated from Seattle. To celebrate the milestone, an early arriving fan tonight will be the one millionth fan. Rumble the Bison and the Thunder Girls will present the winner an exclusive prize package that includes courtside seats for tonight’s game, a customized "millionth fan” jersey, restaurant gift cards, a team-autographed basketball, autographed player pictures, use of a suite to a future home game and free Kids Club membership(s) if it’s a family.
SILENT AUCTIONAutographed orange shoes worn by players in Wednesday’s game will be put up for a silent auction beginning tonight outside of section 120. Proceeds will go to the Thunder Community Foundation. Five pairs will be auctioned off tonight. Five more pairs will be auctioned off for the Dec. 26 game with Charlotte. All remaining shoes will be auctioned off for the Dec. 31 game against Utah.