THUNDER 99, KINGS 98
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Scotty Brooks, the former Kings assistant who grew up about an hour's drive south of Arco Arena in Manteca, was pretty funny after the game. When we asked him how many family members were in the building, he laughed, and placed the number "in the 40s. Not quite as high as my rookie year, but it's up there." The group included his mother, siblings, former coaches, and undoubtedly, customers from the family business. "Dribbles," the family car wash, is doing okay, despite the economic downturn. One of the disadvantages of living in Oklahoma City instead of Sacramento, of course, is that Brooks can't just hop into his SUV, speed down the interstate, then help with the mop, bucket and sponge duties on his off days. As for stealing out of Arco with the victory, Brooks cracked, "It'll be nice to see my Mom after a win, because she's my biggest critic. I'm sure she found something I did wrong."
Of Heidi, Switzerland, Thabo
I love Switzerland. The majesty of the mountains, the splendor of the lakes, the vivid floral arrangements seemingly on display outside every window. The chocolate, the cheese, the beer. It's easy to travel by train or by foot, and it's so .... clean. But when I think of Switzerland, I never think "basketball." So after the game, I approached the Thunders' Thabo (pronounded Tah-bo) Sefolosha in the visitors locker room and pressed for details. When I told him that I couldn't recall seeing any pickup games during my travels to his birthplace, he laughed. "There were courts," said the 6-foot-7 swingman, who grew up in Vevey, a city located about 13 miles from Lausanne, "but usually it was just me, with the ball, all by myself out there." The son of artists - his mother is Swiss and his father is South African - Sefolosha said he became serious about the game when he was about 14 or 15. He played professionally in Italy and France before being drafted by the Philadelphia 76ers (and traded to the Chicago Bulls) in 2006. The Thunder acquired him for a first-round draft choice last month, intrigued by his length, athleticism and defense.
A glimpse at the numbers
- Most appealing stat of the game: Spencer Hawes' all-around effort (20 points, 10 boards, five assists).
- Ugliest stat of the game: A combined total of 45 turnovers between the teams, with Jeff Green (seven), Russell Westbrook (seven) and Hawes (six).
- Biggest question of the night: Was Kevin Martin's left foot really sore enough to keep him on the bench for the deciding fourth period?
- Whatever happened to Donte Greene? Or, better yet, why isn't he down in the Kings' D-League affiliate in Reno, playing extensive minutes and experiencing the joys of the occasional bus ride? His line last night: another DNP. - Ailene Voisin