Practice Report: Thunder Returns to Work

The Thunder went back to work following a disappointing loss Sunday to the Los Angeles Lakers. Players are ready to get back into the win column after losing their third consecutive game for the first time this season.

“These losses are tough,” forward Kevin Durant said Monday. "We just have to stick together and learn from it. As a team, we have to practice well and be prepared.”

That has never been a problem for this team. The Thunder bounce back well from both wins and losses, and practice with a strong purpose and lots of intensity. It was the same on Monday.

“We had a good practice today,” Thunder Head Coach Scott Brooks said. "The guys worked hard and yes, we’ve lost three straight games, but two of those -- the Spurs and the Lakers -- came down to the last shot. We just have to keep working and get better.”

“Along with that we have to keep playing defense,” Durant reminded. “Hopefully we get a win next game.”

The next game is Wednesday night, when the Indiana Pacers come into the Oklahoma City Arena. The defensive intensity Sunday afternoon against the Lakers was as good as it’s been this season. Thunder guards Thabo Sefolosha and James Harden constantly pestered the Lakers' Kobe Bryant, but despite the in-your-face defense, they never fouled him. Bryant did not get to the foul line, only the second time this season that’s happened.

“I thought the defense we played, especially in the first half against them, was about as good as we can play,” Brooks said.

“I just tried to stay in front of him,” Harden told reporters. “Our help defense was really good, too, and the guys down low made it where he couldn’t penetrate.”

Rookie center Cole Aldrich came in and played quality minutes again. He grabbed threef rebounds and blocked a shot during the first few minutes he played.

“Yeah, I just tried to go out there and do what I could,” Aldrich said. “I think my time in Tulsa really helped. I realize those guys in the minor leagues aren’t Kobe (Bryant) or Pau (Gasol), but they can play and I think my time there helped me a lot.”

“I think Cole has played really well,” Brooks said. “I’m happy with what he’s done.”

The Thunder will practice again Tuesday as it continues to get the new guys -- centers Kendrick Perkins and Nazr Mohammed and guard Nate Robinson -- ready for action.