The first half was back and forth, with the Thunder holding on to a one point lead at the half. The Nuggets came out firing in the second half, beginning with a 11-2 run, eventually get up to a 13 point lead with 3 minutes left in the third. The Thunder eventually brought it down to 5 but wasn't able to get any closer.
The loss snaps the Thunder's streak of winning 7 straight home games by double digits, while the Nuggets extended their winning streak to 13, second longest in the NBA.
What is your initial reaction to tonight's result?
The Nuggets have been on fire lately, but came into OKC off of an overtime win against the Bulls last night. If any game was suppose to be a schedule loss for the Nuggets, tonight should've been it. Instead the Nuggets caught the Thunder on what was an off night for OKC. Both Westbrook and Durant shot under 50%, and OKC couldn't play defense to save its life tonight.
What was, overall, the main reason why the Thunder lost?
The Nuggets defense held the Thunder to only 32% shooting in the second half and only 16 points in the third. Until then it had been a back and forth affair, before everyone turned south in the third. The Thunder were never quite able to make up the hole they had dug themselves.
The Thunder couldn't stop anyone on the Nuggets lineup, 6 players went for double figures, the other 3 players for the Nuggets each had 6 or more points. It's just impossible to stop team when you have to worry about all of their moving parts, however in this game the threats should not have been as big a surprise. Lawson was their best player and Andre Miller was probably their second best. OKC should have been ready.
What was a key statistic to understanding the game?
The Nuggest dominated the paint tonight, outscoring the Thunder 72-50. Scott Brooks elected to limit the minutes Ibaka and Perkins played tonight, and the absence of the two big men down low allowed the Nuggets guard to get to the rim without the fear of the Thunder's shot blockers. Also, Ibaka re-injured his head when an inadvertent elbow from Reggie Jackson drew blood.
Neither team shot the ball well from the 3-pt line tonight, the Thunder going 16% and the Nuggets going 19%. In fact, Westbrook and Durant combined for 0-10 from behind the arc. That, combined with the small line-up and lack of offensive rebounds the Thunder got led to the Nuggets making quick work of OKC. The Nuggets defense bottled up the Thunder holding them to only 32% shooting in the second half and only 16 points in the third.
What does this game mean to the Thunder tonight and going forward?
If there's one thing the Thunder has been good at this season, it's regrouping after a loss. They'll need it as they go on to face the Memphis Grizzles on the road tomorrow. Moreso the Nuggets were able to expose the Thunder's defense in a way we haven't seen before this season, it'll be interesting to see if this trend continues as we near the playoffs.
|Final - 3.19.2013||1||2||3||4||Total|
|Oklahoma City Thunder||34||32||16||22||104|
Thunder Wonder: Kevin Durant, 34 points, 7 rebounds, 5 assists
Thunder Down Under: Kendrick Perkins, 4 points, 11 rebounds.
Thunder Blunder: Derek Fisher, 0 points
Thunder Plunderer: Andre Miller, 20 points, 7 rebounds, 9 assists.
Next game: @ Memphis Grizzles, Tomorrow, March 20th, @ 7:00 PM CDT
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