Thunder reaches win No. 50 with rout of Phoenix

BY JOHN ROHDE, Staff Writer, jrohde@opubco.com Published: March 30, 2011

PHOENIX – The Oklahoma City Thunder could have held a double celebration after Wednesday night's 116-98 romp on the road over the Phoenix Suns.

The Thunder locker room instead was impressively calm considering OKC had just put the finishing touches on the greatest month in franchise history (14-2) while matching last year's win total (50-24) with eight games still remaining.

It was business as usual. Shower, get dressed, hop on a charter and get ready for the next game.

"I think it's a good sign for our team that this is not a huge deal," said power forward Nick Collison, who has experienced some lean years since joining the franchise in 2003. "Our minds are in the right place, I think. At this time of year, it's good to be on a roll."

Before the game, Thunder coach Scott Brooks said he didn't mention the number 50, nor did he address the possibility of the best record for a month in franchise history – which includes the Seattle days dating back to 1967.

"No reason to be satisfied when you're capable of doing more," Brooks said.

Not everyone was ignorant of what the numbers represented, however.

All-Star forward Kevin Durant, who finished with 22 points and three blocked shots, said he was very much aware of both records.

"After my first two seasons, man, we went from two 20-win seasons to two 50-win seasons," said Durant, who joined the Seattle SuperSonics in 2007. "That's a big turnaround and it's something that can't be overlooked. It means a lot, but once you get in the postseason, it's kind of out the window."

The Thunder front office prefers to keep its records separate from the Seattle SuperSonics, but it's the first back-to-back 50-win seasons for the franchise since 1997-98.

"People were kind of saying we got worse this year, especially early in the season when we had a tough stretch," Durant said. "But we're hitting a good stride right now. Hopefully, we can keep it up. We just have to continue to be humble and come to work every day."

Behind a 37-point fourth quarter, the Thunder silenced a crowd of 18,033 inside the US Airway Center, where OKC now has won three straight.

The Thunder's impressive showing was well-dispersed. Wednesday's box score

Continue reading this story on the...


Trending Now


AROUND THE WEB

  1. 1
    Kevin Durant shows you what's inside his fridge
  2. 2
    Five OU players on Mel Kiper's Top 10 NFL prospects by position rankings
  3. 3
    Tony Stewart returning to racing Sunday at Atlanta
  4. 4
    Beheaded U.S. journalist James Foley was waterboarded by ISIS
  5. 5
    UConn to play at Tulsa in men's basketball Jan. 13
+ show more