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New York practice notes

Mark D. Smith-USA TODAY Sports

Tonight’s game against the New York Knicks (23-33) is the final game for the Oklahoma City Thunder before the All-Star break.

After the emotional game on Saturday and hangover blowout loss on Monday, the Thunder may be looking forward to their mid-season break.

According to Russell Westbrook, the team will not overlook the Knicks. Why?

“Not if you’ve got your ass kicked two times in a row,” Westbrook said emphatically.

The Thunder’s recent loss against the Washington Wizards — which saw Oklahoma City miss 24 consecutive shots — is a large reason the Thunder want to come out firing tonight against the Knicks.

“We need to set the tone for the first quarter,” Westbrook added. “We need to get back to starting games the right way.

Early in the first quarter Monday night, Oklahoma City found themselves in a 22-6 hole.

Domantas Sabonis — who will now be joined by teammate Alex Abrines in the Rising Stars Challenge in New Orleans — also spoke on the importance on focusing on the Knicks.

“They are a very talented team, and we need to come out strong for 48 minutes.”

With this being the final game until All-Star weekend, many questions centered around the Thunder’s three participents in the festvities over the weekend.

“Just have fun,” Sabonis said. “I’ve been talking to Russ and Steven (Adams) and they said to find some time to rest.”

Abrines is the most recent additon to the All-Star week activites. Sadly, Abrines’ vacation trip to the Bahamas will be altered with his weekend destined for New Orleans.

“I was very surprised,” Abrines shared. “I was really happy, I was planning on leaving tomorrow morning for the Bahamas but now I will just leave a few days later.”

Abrines is ready for the challenge.

“It’s an honor. There are a lot of great players in this game and I’m excited to improve.”

While his Bahamas plan was changed, Abrines still plans to take his girlfriend on a walk around town in New Orleans.

In a surprising news nugget, former Thunder player Kendrick Perkins was at practice chatting with Westbrook, Andre Roberson and coaches. According to the Thunder, Perkins was just in town and saying hello to old teammtes.

Stay tuned with Thunder Digest for gameday coverage, live tweets and the recap!

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