For the 2nd night in a row, the Thunder faced a team on the road that loves to run and score points in bunches. Its actually part of a 3 game stretch, that has the Thunder facing the leagues top 3 scoring teams (Suns, Warriors, Lakers). It doesn't look good moving forward either after having lost the first two of those three, when they have to come home and try to get a win against not only the leagues top scoring team, but the team with the best record, the Lakers. So anyway, back to the game at hand, the Thunder came flying out of the locker room tonight...
The Thunder dominated this game early, and opened up a nice lead. They scored 38 first quarter points, but as the period came to a close the Thunder lead was down to just 4 points, 38-34. Its the last quarter the Thunder would win outright last night, as they were outscored in each of the final three quarters by the Warriors (32-36, 24-31, & 32-26). The Thunder went into the locker room at half time all tied up, but when the third quarter was over, trailed by 7. That didn't stop the Thunder from mounting a rally early in the 4th pulling to within 2 points with about five minutes to go before the Warriors, much like the Suns the night before, when on a torrid scoring run to close out the game.
Thabo Sefolosha made his Thunder debut last night as well (wearing #2). Just by looking at his statline, you're not going to figure out much as he only notched 1 board, and 2 steals during his 18 minutes of play. You have to hand it to the guy for playing 18 minutes without much practice time with the team. He's definitely a guy who is hustling on the defensive end, and finished with 5 fouls. I know a lot of people will gripe about fouls, but not me, 5 fouls shows me his defensive intensity was very good last night. As he gets more acclimated to the team and their sets, I expect him not only to play better, but to possibly get the starting nod at the 2.
Kyle Weaver, I think noticed the presance of another shooting guard tonight, and played well, possibly trying to make his argument to stay in the starting lineup. Weaver scored a career high 19 points to go with 5 rebounds, 2 steals, and 1 assist. But that is easy enough to go unnoticed when you look at the numbers the holy trinity put up beside him. Durant finished with 32 points, 6 boards, 3 assists, and 2 steals. Meanwhile, Jeff Green was putting up a double-double, 27 points, 15 rebounds, 6 assists, and 2 steals. Then you had Russell Westbrook with a double-double in the first half, and he finished with 31 points, 5 rebounds, 11 assists, and 2 steals.
I know we shouldn't look back at the rescinded trade either, but how much could a guy like Tyson Chandler helped in this game tonight? Our center combo of Collison/Krstic followed up a nice performance with the Suns the night before with a dud tonight. They finished with a combined 8 points, but to be fair Collison did grab 11 boards.
The Thunder will have to try and regroup quickly as they return home on Tuesday to face the Los Angeles Lakers. The Thunder put up a solid performance against them earlier this month on the West Coast, but now have a chance to take them on inside the Ford Center. This is a big game for the Thunder, as any time you have a chance to knock off the leagues best team, you'll be sure to get a little face time on the big four letter network.