The blue T-shirt marking the first division title in the Oklahoma City Thunder's brief history sat folded up on a chair near Kevin Durant's locker.
Russell Westbrook left the locker room and was halfway down a hallway before stopping to run back, grab his and throw it over his shoulder.
The Northwest Division title, clinched with a 112-108 victory against the Los Angeles Clippers on Wednesday night, hardly merited a celebration for the Thunder.
“We’ve got goals at hand. When you have bigger goals, you tend to reach smaller goals,” Kendrick Perkins said after grabbing a season-high 17 rebounds. “ Our guys want to go a little further than just being division champs.”
Durant had 29 points, Westbrook 26 and the Thunder won its first division crown since the franchise was known as the Seattle SuperSonics in 2005.
The Clippers’ Blake Griffin had 35 points and 11 rebounds on a visit to his hometown.
Howard suspension looms: Thanks to a rare 10-second violation on a free throw attempt, Orlando’s Dwight Howard will serve another one-game suspension after picking up his NBA-leading 18th technical foul. Referee Bennett Salvatore called a violation for taking too long to attempt his shot in the second quarter Wednesday at Charlotte. When the upset Howard tossed the ball away, Salvatore T’d him up. If the call is upheld by the league, Howard will sit out Sunday’s nationally televised game against Chicago.
LeBron signs marketing deal: Fenway Sports Marketing — the sister company of the Red Sox — has signed Miami’s LeBron James and the management company he helped create, LRMR, to a long-term deal to secure marketing and sponsorship opportunities. As part of the deal, James obtained a piece of Liverpool FC, one of the world’s most famed soccer teams in the English Premier League.
Fastbreaks: Minnesota’s Darko Milicic is auctioning the NBA championship ring he won with Detroit to raise money and awareness for children dealing with the terminal illness Batten’s disease. Dwyane Wade (bruised thigh) was held out of the Heat’s game against Milwaukee on Wednesday. Denver’s Timofey Mozgov is out with knee and ankle sprains.