Nocioni got the ball near the 3 point line with just a few seconds left and a chance to be the hero for the Kings by simply driving to the wide open basket, but decided to take the wide open jumper instead. He was not the hero tonight. He overshot the ball, and the Thunder got their fifth win in six games. If you didn't stay up late to watch this one, you'll be happy to know that Jeff Green made his return, and lead the way scoring (Alongside 22 for RW0) with 22 points. He did, however, show some signs of rust by turning the ball over 7 times tonight. I guess if you are going to return from injury and be that rusty, the leagues worst team is a good time to do that, although the Kings nearly made them pay for it tonight.
I've got to be honest as well and tell you I didn't get to watch the conclusion of this game live either. Getting up at 5am and trying to watch these late games isn't so easy. So I apologize for what will be a short game recap.
Although Green made his return tonight, the Thunder had another player miss a game due to injury, Nick Collison. As a guy who's been nabbing 10 or so boards every night, this could have posed as a bit of a problem. That is if Nenad Krstic hadn't stepped up tonight and grabbed a whopping 15 boards to go with his 9 points. Over this last stretch of games that the Thunder have been winning, Nenad has begun to show signs of the type of player he used to be. He's getting the job done each night, and doing what is needed to help the team win. When our two biggest scorers were out, he stepped up and scored 20+ points, and tonight when our big rebounder was out, he picked up the slack there too. He's proving to be invaluable, and makes it an exciting prospect to think about the future with Nenad, next season, potentially returning to all-star form.
Thabo Sefolosha continues to impress, and just make you look at the Bulls with a baffled look on your face for trading him. He scored 17 points tonight, had 7 rebounds, 2 assists, and 5, yes FIVE, steals. I can't speak his praises enough, what he has done for the defensive mentality of this team is almost indescribable if you have not been watching the Thunder over the course of the season. I'll try to put it simply, this team pre-Thabo is no comparison to this team post-Thabo. I couldn't be happier to have him. He's a difference maker.
Thunder off to Denver tonight.