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PISTONS LIMP HOME.....Oklahoma City 109, PISTONS 98, F 12/18/09
Posted on: 12-18-2009

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>>caption:  JEFF GREEN (#22)
THUNDERS OVER DETROIT'S AUSTIN
DAYE (#5) ON A DUNK<<

@ OKLAHOMA CITY, OK:

    The injury-plagued Pistons are
headed home from an 0-3 southwest
road trip after a 109-98 Friday night
loss at Oklahoma City.
    Although Detroit got super-sub Will
Bynum (ankle injury) back for the first
time in four games, three Piston
regulars remained idled and Detroit
lost an early 10-P (22-12) lead.
    Third year pro Kevin Durant and a
pair of rookies led the Thunder to the win.
    Durant had a game-high 27-P. James Harden had OK City's first 7-P of the
4th-Qtr and later combined with fellow first year man Serge Ibaka to get all the
points in a 9-0 Thunder run to give the home courters their largest lead of the
night at 95-82. Harden had 14-P with 8-A while Ibaka had a new career-high 12-P.
    Rounding out the half dozen Thunder players who scored in double figures were
Jeff Green with 19-P, Russell Westbrook with 14-P and Nenad Krstic with 10-P.
    With top guards Richard Hamilton and Ben Gordon (plus FWD Tayshaun Prince)
all out of action, Rodney Stuckey scored his season-high and the game-high of
31-P to top Detroit. Charlie Villanueva (who played with a right heel injury) added
16-P and Bynum & Jonas Jarebko each had 12-P.
    While Detroit's losing skid extended to three games the Thunder ended their
three game losing streak.
    The Pistons fell to 3-11 on the road.      
   
QUOTEBOOK...

PISTONS H-COACH JOHN KUESTER:   "Rodney's had a wonderful start and stuff like
that but we need him to lead...He's a very gifted offensive player, but we have to
generate things, with being short-handed, from everybody. Not just Stuckey,
everybody has to take ownership of how we defend and even if you don't make the
right play, your body language tells you whether you're ready to react the way we
want you to, and that's all I'm asking...Very disappointing, very disappointing."

PISTONS GD RODNEY STUCKEY:   "We haven't won on the road in a long time. It's
always tough. We have to come out the same way on the road as we do at home...
We have beaten some of the top teams in the league with guys out, so that isn't
an excuse. It's tough on the road."

THUNDER FWD KEVIN DURANT:   "This was big, we really needed it. We got stops
when we needed to and we made shots when we needed to...We wanted to contest
every shot, make it really tough on them and I thought we did."

THUNDER GD JAMES HARDEN:   "We played four quarters. I think those last three
games that we played and lost, we played three good quarters and then in the fourth,
we just kind of slacked off a little bit...I'm just taking what the defense gives me.
This was big for us - our last home game before the road trip. We really wanted to
play well in the 4th quarter."

THUNDER H-COACH SCOTT BROOKS:   "Our starters were not ready to play. They
didn't come out with the intensity that it takes to play in this league and stop players
in this league...Those two rookies, they came in and did a great job of controlling
the game in the fourth quarter...We drafted [Harden] to be a playmaker. We've got
some pretty good scorers on our team, and he can score the ball, there's no doubt.
He's done it in college and he did it at a very good clip, but he's a playmaker. He
makes good plays. I just like the way he plays. He plays hard, he plays for his
teammates and he's not looking to score every time."

OVERTIME:

    In a span of just 3:50 in the 1st-Qtr Detroit rookie Austin Daye was assessed four
personal fouls.
    The Thunder are 11-0 this season when scoring at least 100-P.
    The Thunder passed the 1-million mark in home attendance in their 55th home
date on Friday in their one-plus seasons since relocating from Seattle (Supersonics).
    Detroit has a one game homestand vs the LA Lakers Sunday.

                                                   ###

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