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Carlesimo fired by 1-12 Thunder

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P.J. Carlesimo holds the ball in Friday's loss vs. the Hornets — his last as the Thunder's coach.

P.J. Carlesimo holds the ball in Friday’s loss vs. the Hornets — his last as the Thunder’s coach.

Sue Ogrocki, Associated Press

OKLAHOMA CITY — The losses kept piling up for P.J. Carlesimo, and it didn't matter which city his team called home.

With the relocated Oklahoma City Thunder off to an NBA-worst 1-12 start, Carlesimo was fired as coach Saturday and replaced on an interim basis by assistant Scott Brooks.

The firing — the first of an NBA coach this season — followed a 105-80 defeat to the New Orleans Hornets on Friday night for the Thunder's 10th straight loss.

Brooks was to make his debut Saturday night in a rematch with the Hornets in New Orleans, and general manager Sam Presti said he would remain through the end of the season.

"This isn't about one person," Presti said. "There's accountability for everybody involved — players, coaches, myself and anyone involved with our basketball team. We understand that."

The Thunder also let go assistant Paul Westhead, who guided the Phoenix Mercury to the 2007 WNBA title and won an NBA title in 1980 with the Los Angeles Lakers.

Carlesimo had been expected to produce a winner around Kevin Durant, but he never really stood a chance. He inherited a roster shredded by the trades of stars Ray Allen and Rashard Lewis after a decision to rebuild. But there was clearly more to rebuild than anticipated.

Carlesimo had questioned his team in recent games for failing to give full effort, performances resulting in a string of blowouts. The last six losses were by double-digits, and most of those were even more out of hand before the Thunder rallied.

"We feel like that is something that is nonnegotiable," Presti said. "We have to continue to play hard and put ourselves in positions to compete and win basketball games."

The loss Friday night served as a reminder of how the Hornets rebuilt from an 18-win season to a playoff contender during a two-year stay in Oklahoma City brought on by Hurricane Katrina. The Hornets improved by 20 wins their first season in Oklahoma City, and by last year were pushing the San Antonio Spurs in a second-round playoff series.

A similar scenario hardly seemed in the making for the Thunder following their switch from Seattle and discarding the SuperSonics nickname along the way.

RAPTORS O'NEAL DAY-TO-DAY: Raptors forward Jermaine O'Neal did not practice Saturday and was listed as day-to-day after straining his surgically repaired left knee against New Jersey on Friday night.

O'Neal was scheduled to receive treatment twice Saturday and could play Sunday when Toronto hosts defending NBA-champion Boston.

"We've already made contingency plans if he can't go," Raptors coach Sam Mitchell said.

FLASH 91, STAMPEDE 65: At Burley, Idaho, Boston Celtics assignees Bill Walker and J.R. Giddens scored 16 points each as the Utah Flash cruised to a in Bobcat Gym. After trailing early to the defending NBA D-League champions, the Flash jumped to a 20-point lead early in the second quarter and led 53-36 at the half. Idaho got as close as 11 twice in the second half before the Flash eventually put the game away.

REDD EXPECTED TO MISS ANOTHER WEEK: Milwaukee Bucks leading scorer Michael Redd could be out another week as he continues a slow recovery from a right ankle injury.

Redd has not played since sustaining a high-ankle sprain at New York on Nov. 2. He did not travel with the team for the start of the Bucks' four-game road trip at Charlotte, and coach Scott Skiles said he doesn't expect Redd to join the team on the road.