Thunder played close to perfection against Pistons

Every coach will tell you there is no such thing as a team playing a perfect game. The goal is to perform as well as possible for as long as possible. The Thunder might have played their best stretch during the first quarter of Monday's win.
BY JOHN ROHDE, Staff Writer, jrohde@opubco.com Published: January 24, 2012
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Every coach will tell you there is no such thing as a team playing a perfect game.

It's just not physically or mentally possible, so the goal is to perform as well as possible for as long as possible.

Though OKC is 14-3 and atop the Western Conference standings entering Wednesday's 7 p.m. home contest against New Orleans, the Thunder has yet to dominate the way many had projected this season, including the Thunder players themselves.

Despite a shiny record, OKC has yet to play a full 48 minutes this season.

“Not yet. I don't think so,” starting guard Thabo Sefolosha said of his team clicking on all cylinders. “We had games where we showed it, but there were parts that we didn't. We've just got to keep improving, keep finding one another, sharing the ball and playing defense.”

In its last outing, the Thunder might have played its most impressive stretch of the season during the first quarter of Monday night's 99-79 home victory over Detroit.

En route to taking a 29-12 lead in the first period, OKC outshot the Pistons 57.1 percent to 16.7 percent, owned a 16-6 command of the boards, outscored Detroit 14-2 in the paint and 15-1 on fast break points.

With 4½ minutes left in the second period, the Thunder had built its lead to 32. Had it kept the pedal to the metal against the Motor City, the Thunder could have won by half-a-hundred or more, a crazy occurrence in the NBA.

Granted, this was the 2012 Pistons, not the 2004, 1990 or 1989 model. That didn't make it any less enjoyable for OKC coach Scott Brooks to watch while reviewing the game Tuesday morning.

“I don't know if we can play a better 12 minutes of basketball,” Brooks said. “That was outstanding on both ends. Even when we got beat defensively, we had two or three guys helping and guys helping the helper. That's when you're really good and locked in and engaged defensively.

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