OKLAHOMA CITY Scott Brooks is known for his low-key approach, so when he said Wednesday's game against Houston was something bigger, it made an impression.
After all, Brooks is a company man, loves to talk about the process and the practice. Every game counts the same, all 82 of 'em, so getting too high for the Lakers or showing disinterest in the Bobcats would be a disservice to his team.
But Wednesday? Even Brooks couldn't temper, stifle or diminish the situation.
"I want to beat the Rockets," Brooks dead-panned. "They traded me in the second championship year. It took me five years to get over it. It's still personal."
Brooks brought the LOL Tuesday, deflecting the topic away from another Rockets-Thunder connection, but there won't be any avoiding it Wednesday when James Harden returns to Oklahoma City.
"It's a fun game," Brooks said. "You're talking great environment."
But really this game has implications far beyond a regular November matchup. It's a statement situation ...