Oklahoma City Thunder 120, Sacramento Kings 112: 2010-2011 Game 81 Recap; "Here We Stay"


Setting aside the game itself for just a moment, it was a wonderful thing to hear the entire crowd of a 24-57 team stand up and chant with 12 seconds to go in a lost cause of a game. And no, it was nothing led by the PA, or something so simple and commonplace that nearly everyone in the crowd had chanted it before. It was the chant "Here we stay." It sounded just as loud as any Thunder game has sounded on TV. Sure, it sucks that the threat of the loss of a team has to bring their fans together, but as a wise man once said, "That's life." Though I'm far removed from the situation and don't know what it's like to lose a team, I feel for the people in that arena.

Anyway, there was a game that went on tonight. It was interrupted frequently by fouls, but it was an officially sanctioned NBA game. Free Throws counted for 60 of the points tonight, which is over a quarter of the combined final score. As a result, when the game wasn't going at a frenetic pace with constant scoring, it dragged on and on. And this style of play heavily favoured the Kings. The Kings basically play a Warriors-style game. Have a tall guy at center to get rebounds, defend the opposing center, and get the occasional basket. Everyone else can basically function as a guard, in that they all can shoot and are good at getting fouled. They also play really scrappy defense, looking to force turnovers and beat their opponent in transition.

The Thunder can play with this type of team more or less, but their now configuration down low doesn't help things out. Perkins was far too slow for the increased pace of the game, while the Kings perimeter defense limited the Thunder's three point opportunities. This limited the Thunder to fast break points and mid-range shots, which gave the Kings a slight advantage throughout the game.

But the Thunder took charge in the third and sealed it in the fourth. It was labeled by many as a "trap" or "letdown" game, but in the end, the Kings just didn't have the talent to win this game. Once DeMarcus Cousins got angry and was forcibly benched, the game all but ended for the Kings.

Thunder Wonder: Russell Westbrook, 30 Points, 6 Rebounds, 9 Assists, 2 Steals, 1 Block

Thunder Down Under: Kevin Durant, 32 Points, 8 Rebounds, 2 Assists, 2 Steals, 1 Block

Thunder Blunder: Daequan Cook, for missing a shot and doing nothing else.

Thunder Plunderer: DeMarcus Cousins, 30 Points, 9 Rebounds, 1 Assist, 3 Steals, 1 Block

Next Game: Versus the Milwaukee Bucks, Wednesday, April 13th, 7 PM Central Daylight Time.

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