After all that was said and written about the Thunder in the wake of the James Harden trade, most of which surmised the team took a step back, Oklahoma City can match its best start to a season with a win Wednesday night.
Should the Thunder knock off the Hornets inside Chesapeake Energy Arena, it will move to 18-4 and match last year's record mark through 22 games.
Additionally, a victory Wednesday would be the Thunder's ninth straight, matching the franchise's longest winning streak in the Oklahoma City era. The Thunder also won nine straight from Jan. 29 to Feb. 21, 2010.
“It's still early. We have a lot of basketball left,” coach Scott Brooks said. “We're playing good basketball, but it's always been our mindset that we still want to get better. That's not going to change.”
The near record-tying start doesn't just stand as proof the Thunder hasn't taken a step back, but it might also signify that Oklahoma City has gotten better.
The Thunder has won by an average margin of 9.5 points, the league's highest average point differential, and Oklahoma City is averaging a league-best 106 points. The team has scored at least 100 points in 12 straight games, which is another franchise record in the OKC era.
At the current .809 winning percentage, the Thunder is on pace to win 66 games, which would be a franchise record in any era.
“Last year we had a great year,” Brooks said. “We came up short from our goal; like a lot of teams' goal is to win a championship. This year, we're just working and seeing where it takes us. We know that we have a good team. We just want to continue to get better.”
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Thunder vs. Hornets
When: 7 p.m. Wednesday
Where: Chesapeake Energy Arena
TV: Fox Sports Oklahoma (Cox 37/HD 722, DirecTV 679, Dish, U-Verse 754/HD 1754).
Radio: WWLS 98.1-FM, WWLS 640-AM
Three things to know
* With a win against the Hornets, the Thunder will match its best start to a season since moving to Oklahoma City.
* The Hornets are coming off a home loss against Washington on Tuesday night.
* The Thunder is 2-0 against the Hornets this season, winning by 15 in the first game and 21 in the second meeting.