Thunder Ready for Another Bounce-Back Challenge

The Oklahoma City Thunder has done very well this season when staring straight into the face of adversity. The team is 5-0 following a playoff loss. Oklahoma City is 26-6 overall this season in games after a loss and the Thunder hasn’t lost back-to-back home games since the 2009-10 season.

“We have toughness and a competitive spirit and these guys are very proud, they believe in one another and you just don’t want to lose back-to-back games in the regular season or in the playoffs especially,” Thunder Head Coach Scott Brooks told a large group of reporters Sunday after a light practice. “Our guys always come back the next day and watch film and find ways to get better and they always, always come back the next game much better.”

No one played particularly well in the first half against Dallas Saturday night. The defensive effort was much better in the second half, but the offense struggled for much of the game including Kevin Durant who missed eight of his 3-point attempts. Brooks expects Durant to come out blazing in Game 4.

“I’ve been around him for four years and that’s how he thinks, he’s wired to play well and if he doesn’t he’s very disappointed in himself. That’s a big reason why we always bounce back. Not only Kevin, but our entire team takes it personal. They all want to play better the next game and we’ve been good with that the whole year.”

Another big part of being able to bounce back is being able to recognize what went wrong in a loss and how to make corrections. The Thunder spent most of today’s practice session, not out on the court, but hunkered down inside the film room studying.

“We had a great film session,” Brooks said. “We watched a bunch of clips on things that we could have done better and things that they did a good job on of taking us out of what we have to do. So I think we solved some things there and then we just shot free throws.”

This team has already played 104 games, going back through the pre-season, but Brooks told reporters no one is tired and no one is fatigued by what has become a long season and a grueling, physical post-season.

“We’re only playing basically every other day, guys can get their rest. You just have to do whatever it takes to make your body feel great the next game. Fatigue is not a factor, it’s too exciting we’re all excited about this opportunity and we’re just going to continue to work. We’re down in the series, but all we’re focused on is winning one game Monday night and then we’ll move on to the next one.”

Tip-off is set for 8 p.m. Monday inside Oklahoma City Arena. You can watch all the action on ESPN or listen in on the Thunder Radio Network.