Howard Smith-US PRESSWIRE
Quick recap: the Thunder need overtime to get past the 76ers, 116-109.
The Oklahoma City Thunder needed overtime to get past the Philadelphia 76ers 116-109. Kevin Durant led all scorers with 37 and Russell Westbrook added 30, with Serge Ibaka ending the game with 18 points and 9 rebounds.
The Thunder led for much of the game, but never seemed to be able to put away the 76ers. Philly's defense was able to hold the Thunder scoreless in the final 4 minutes of regulation, allowing the 76ers to come back to tie the game at 98-98.
With the game tied, neither team was able to score in the final 1:30 of regulation. The 76ers missed 2 wide open 10 footers with under a minute left, sending the game into overtime.
The scoreless drought quickly ended for the Thunder in overtime. Four different Thunder players hit 3-point baskets to pull away and Kevin Martin, who was pretty much non-existent for most of the night, hit a huge 3 to put the thunder up 6 with 2 minutes left in OT.
The 76ers were lead by Thaddeus Young, who scored 29 points and 15 rebounds, Evan Turner added 26 points, while Jrue Holiday led the offense with 13 assist. Unfortunately for those hoping to see former Thunder player Royal Ivey, he failed to see any action tonight.
What is your initial reaction to tonight's result?
It's hard to complain with a road win. However, there were times when the Thunder seemed to distance themselves, only to allow the 76ers to come back into the game. With that being said, bouncing back from a loss with a victory over a 7-6 team is always something to proud of.
For most of the game, the Thunder had a pretty even distribution of scoring, until Kevin Durant and Westbrook took over near the end of the game. Allowing the Thunder to come away with another clutch victory.
What was, overall, the main reason why the Thunder won?
The Thunder did what they did best, shot the ball well and got to the line often. Combine that with only 12 turnovers, and the Thunder are a tough team to beat. The 76ers were only able to force this game into overtime by not allowing the Thunder to score a single point in the final 4 minutes.
The 76ers never really had a defensive answer for Durant and Westbrook, and allowed them to both score in the thirties. Without Bynum, Philadelphia was never really able to get much of an advantage on the glass, and only outrebounded the Thunder by 1, 43-42.
What was a key statistic to understanding the game?
Besides the Thunder finally finding the hot hand in overtime, the Thunder were able to gain a massive advantage at the line. OKC went to the line over twice the amount of the 76ers did, ending the night 32-37 (while the 76ers went 12-17). Only 4 of the free throw attempts came at the end of the game, and outscoring any team by 20 points from the stripe is usually too much for any team to overcome.
The Thunder were also able to limit themselves to only 12 turnovers for the game, 5 below their average on the year. The 76ers are second in the NBA in fewest turnovers with 12, but lost the battle tonight, turning it over 16 times, giving the Thunder 22 points off turnovers for the night.
What does this game mean to the Thunder tonight and going forward?
The Thunder are now 2-0 in overtime games for the year, and now head back to OKC to begin a 3-game home stand to end the first month of the season. The Thunder were also able to win with virtually no offensive production from Kevin Martin, relying on Serge Ibaka to be the team's third option. As we've seen this year, Serge's offensive game has improved tremendously this season and is providing another option for the already high-powered offense.
|Final - 11.24.2012||1||2||3||4||OT 1||Total|
|Oklahoma City Thunder||29||21||35||13||18||116|
Thunder Wonder: Kevin Durant, 37 points, 8 rebounds, 5 assists.
Thunder Down Under: Nick Collison, 14 points, 5 rebounds.
Thunder Blunder: Kevin Martin, 6 points, 2-9 FG.
Thunder Plunderer: Thaddeus Young, 29 points, 15 rebounds, 4 assists.
Next game: vs Charlotte Bobcats on Monday, Nov. 26 @ 7 CDT
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