Thunder Back to Work After Preseason Win in Dallas

There is nothing like being able to teach after a win -- even if it is a preseason victory -- so Thunder Head Coach Scott Brooks is basically a happy man.

“Yeah, we won the game and we played some good basketball defensively," he said Monday, referring to the Thunder's 106-92 victory Sunday in Dallas, "but offensively, we were a little sloppy we turned the ball over too many times.”

Thunder forward Kevin Durant noticed the same things as his coach, saying: “It was a slow game for us as far as the turnovers, but I think all-in-all, we did a great job of playing defense and talking it up on defense and just playing together.”

The Thunder returned to the practice courts inside the INTEGRIS Health Thunder Development Center on Monday and began preparing for the second of two preseason games against the Mavericks. The two teams will meet again at 7 p.m. Tuesday in the Chesapeake Energy Arena.

“We’re just continuing to work on the things that we’ve talked about for the last 10 days,” Brooks said. “Offensively, we need to play with more pace, push the ball up the floor off of made baskets or missed shots. We worked on outlets and really pitching the ball ahead.”

There was plenty to like in Sunday night's win, namely: the Thunder held the Mavericks to 38 percent shooting and out-rebounded them, 45-33.

Durant scored 21 points on just five shots. Despite some in the media wondering if Durant would still be able to generate several points at the free-throw line because of recent rule changes, he was stellar at the line, hitting 13 of 14 attempts.

“I guess you guys think I do the rip move every time to get to the free-throw line,” he joked with reporters, “which is false,” he said with a grin.

“I was just trying to be aggressive to the rim. Coach drew up some good plays for me to get in good position,” he said.

Durant also unveiled his version of Dirk Nowitzki’s one-footed, falling back jumper, “Yeah, I stole that from him. I’m not as good as he is at it, but I’ve been working on it and it was the perfect time for me to do that.”

Nowitzki was held out of the lineup by the Mavs coaches on Sunday and watched Durant hit the shot from his seat on the bench. Durant said he shot Nowitzki a quick glance as he ran back up the court. “I kind of gave a wink to Dirk, since I stole that from him. … I’m just glad the shot went in. I was afraid it was going to be an air ball at first.”

Thunder sharp-shooters were on target Sunday night, too. Daequan Cook drilled four 3-pointers and James Harden knocked down three. The pair was 7-of-11 from long range.

“I felt real good out there,” Cook said. “I’ve been putting in a lot of work this summer and it’s paying off right now.”

Fifteen players logged time on the court, and six of those were in the contest for at least 20 minutes.

On the downside, the Thunder committed 25 turnovers, a number Brooks said can be expected with so little practice time after a long layoff.

“As long as our guys are thinking about passing, I’m in a good place with that. They just need to keep focusing on that area and clean it up so that it doesn’t become a major problem,” he said.