Thunder Practice Report

The Oklahoma City Thunder were back at practice Tuesday morning after a day off following Sunday’s disappointing loss to the Toronto Raptors. It’s a game players and coaches have already put behind them as they work on Wednesday’s game with Northwest Division rival Utah.

“It was a tough loss,” Thunder forward Kevin Durant admitted, “in fact it felt like I was a senior in college and we had just lost a game in the NCAA Tournament, but you just give those guys credit and you move on."

“You have to move forward,” said Thunder Head Coach Scott Brooks. “You pick the things out of the game that you can do better, just like we do when we win games, and you keep going.”

That ability to move ahead after a loss has given Oklahoma City a 17-5 record in bounce-back games, that’s second best in the NBA behind San Antonio’s 12-1 record in games following a loss.

“My first two years we were losing like crazy,” Durant reminded reporters, “I guess we just got sick of it, so we have the mentality after a loss that we have to win the next game. So we always bring energy to practice and so do the coaches and we just work hard, keep trying to get better.”

Brooks said the players came back today ready to work after yesterday’s day away from the training facility.

“Yesterday was a good day off and the guys came back really fired up today,” he said. “The guys came back with good energy. We’re not happy with what happened in the last game but our effort was good we just missed shots. So today we worked on our execution and on our defense.”

The Thunder is now four games ahead of the Denver Nuggets and in first place in the Northwest Division. That isn’t something the team has been playing much attention to.

“I just know if we keep playing well we’re be in a good place,” Brooks said. He doesn’t even think aboutwhat the team’s “magic number” is to clinch a playoff berth or a division championship.

“Our magic number is one, every one of the games we play,” he said. “We just need to win. All our practices are important and we treat them that way. We don’t have many practices left as we come down to the end of the season with all the back-to-back games we have.”

The head coach isn’t worried that his team will lose focus or be distracted by the standings as the season winds down.

“Losses are missed opportunities so they always come back to practice with a sense of urgency, that’s just the spirit of our guys.”

The Thunder will have a chance to improve on that 17-5 record after losses Wednesday night against Utah. Tip-off is set for 7 p.m. inside Oklahoma City Arena. You can watch all the action on Fox Sports Oklahoma or listen in on the Thunder Radio Network.