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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, Published: January 24, 2012

“Everybody was in a defensive stance. The ball was moving. We were running. It was about as good as you can possibly play. I don't know if you can do that for 48 minutes, but that's what every coach strives to do. We played a solid game.”

OKC will go for an encore performance Wednesday night against the struggling Hornets (3-14), who have lost eight straight.

Brooks has sat his starting lineup the entire fourth quarter on four occasions this season, so there no doubt have been some quality moments. But have there been enough of them?

“I think we're playing good, but we have to keep pushing our team to play better,” Brooks admitted. “I think every coach, every team, wants to play solid for 48 minutes. It's something you strive for. I don't think we've had that for 48 minutes, but we've played well for stretches.”

Particularly pleasing to Brooks on Monday night was the Thunder's fast start defensively, which is always beneficial.

“There are so many variables that go into it,” Brooks said of having a good start. “Everybody has to be ready to play, and that's our job as a team and my job as a coach to make sure everybody's ready to play – try to find the chemistry, try to find the energy that's going to give you a chance to win. (Monday) night, everybody from the opening tap was ready to play. Nobody wanted to be the one who got scored on, and when you have that for a majority of the game, you're going to put yourself in position to win.

“I couldn't ask for better effort … you could just tell the players cared about each other. They didn't want to let their teammates down and be scored upon.”