Raptors coach Nick Nurse reflects on time with Oklahoma Storm
Before becoming an NBA champion head coach, Nick Nurse spent two seasons (2001 and 2005) in Enid with the USBL’s Oklahoma Storm.
The Raptors coach has fond memories of his time in Northern Oklahoma.
“It was like all those jobs I was doing back then,” Nurse said Wednesday night, before his Raptors beat the Thunder 130-121. “I was just trying to learn my craft a little bit, try to figure out how to put a group of guys together and play hard and play defense and move the ball. I loved it. I loved my time in Enid. Mark Price Arena was fun.”
Nurse was an assistant under Bryan Gates, who’s now an assistant coach with the Timberwolves.
“That was a neat little setup we had,” Nurse said. “A lot of Oklahoma State guys, a lot of Oklahoma guys, and that little arena was rocking.”
Nurse is in his second season as the Raptors head coach. Last season, he led Toronto to its first NBA title.
“Believe it or not,” Nurse said of his time in Enid, “sometimes I recall some plays we were running from way back then.”
Muscala records Thunder high
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Thunder center Muscala scored a season-high 14 points Wednesday night.
The perimeter-oriented center shot 6-of-11 from the floor and made 3-of-7 3-point attempts.
Turnovers, turnovers, turnovers
The basketball was not valued.
The Thunder turned the ball over 18 times. The Raptors turned it over 19 times.
The Thunder won a high scoring points off turnovers battle 33-32.
“We did a better job in that second half,” Thunder coach Billy Donovan said. “I thought our pressure up the floor was good.”
Thunder center Steven Adams left the game in the second quarter. He was ruled out for the rest of the game with a right knee contusion.
Adams missed three games earlier this season with a left knee contusion.
Thunder reserves Nerlens Noel and Abdel Nader did not play. Both are recovering from left ankle sprains and neither has a set timeline to return.
Noel missed his sixth consecutive game. The backup center hasn’t played since Jan. 4, but he worked out on the court before the game Wednesday.
Raptors point guard Fred VanVleet was out Wednesday with a right hamstring strain. Pascal Siakam and Marc Gasol started for the Raptors. Both were out with injuries when the Thunder beat the Raptors on Dec. 29 in Toronto.
Thunder center Justin Patton logged 11 minutes. Patton scored 45 points Tuesday night for the Oklahoma City Blue. It was the top scoring performance in a G League game this season … Danilo Gallinari has made at least three 3-pointers in 11 consecutive games. That’s a Thunder record … The Thunder attempted 42 3-pointers Wednesday night, tying a season high.
Joe Mussatto, Staff writer