We all love good games, and we all love excitement. But, occasionally, especially when you're sick, it's nice to sit back and watch your team straight up dominate an inferior opponent.
And that's what happened tonight. The Thunder didn't completely dominate the Rockets, but right from the get go, the Rockets were in a hole, and as the game went on, they just dug themselves deeper and deeper into that hole.
Most interesting about this game was that the Rockets decided to play their younger bench players, giving big minute to Jordan Hill, Jermaine Taylor, and Ishmael Smith. It's a bit of a necessity when Aaron Brooks and Yao Ming are out, but the Rockets don't normally give that many minutes to their bench players, even when in a bit of a hole. I could sense that some of the players had given up. I was reminded of P.J. Carlesimo's tenure as coach, where the Thunder would fall behind by 20 points or so to certain teams and just give up all hope of winning.
But, you have to give credit where credit is due. Luis Scola (Thunder Plunderer) had 26 Points and 8 Rebounds in only 30 minutes. Kevin Martin was also his usual self, scoring 19 points. Also, Hill, Smith, and Taylor combined for 30 points, and did an admirable job of trying to keep up with the Thunder in the 2nd and 3rd quarters.
Below: Individual Stats, Inside Sources!
For the Thunder, it wasn't the greatest night offensively for Durant and Westbrook, but the bench players really stepped up to the plate. D.J. White had 12 Points (though 8 of those were in garbage time), and he proved himself to be more of a serviceable backup big man than Cole Aldrich is. Eric Maynor continued his streak of good games, pitching in 10 Points, 3 Rebounds, and 5 Assists. James Harden played a bit of PG, getting 10 Points, 3 Rebounds, and 4 Assists. Lastly, Nick Collison had 9 Points and 3 Rebounds. Oh, and Royal Ivey and B.J. Mullens got some garbage minutes.
For the starters, it was a great outing, with Krstic scoring 11 Points, grabbing 7 Rebounds, getting 3 Blocks, and Stealing 1 possession. Ibaka had a very similar statline, scoring 11 Points, grabbing 8 Boards, Blocking 4 shots, and Stealing 1 possession. In all seriousness, these guys looked like the same player tonight. Okay, so Krstic shoots from the top of the key, while Ibaks shoots from the elbow. Under optimal conditions, these guys give you the same thing. Thabo Sefolosha had 9 Points, 5 Rebounds, 1 Assist, and 2 Steals. He was pretty essential in helping out the early going.
And now, for the stars. Kevin Durant (Thunder Down Under) had his usual excellent outing, with 24 Points, 4 Rebounds, 4 Assists, and 1 Steal. But Russell Westbrook (Thunder Wonder) trumped all with 21 Points, 6 Rebounds, 12 Assists, and 2 Steals.
As a final note, according to my inside sources, Daequan Cook, Eric Maynor, and Russell Westbrook went to Hooters after the game. After a win like this one, I'd say they deserve it.
(There was no Thunder Blunder this evening.)
Next Game: At the Boston Celtics, Friday, November 19th, 6 PM Central Standard Time.