Okay, so the game was a bit closer than I thought. But all that matters here is that the Thunder prevailed. We'll only see the Kings once more this season, so I don't consider them to be that much of a problem down the road.
But, contrary to my snobbishness, the Kings kept it close the entire game, without Thompson, Nocioni, or the traded Kevin Martin. There was a point at the end of the first half where I thought the Thunder might pull away for good, but the pulling never came. The Kings kept charging back, but it never really came to a head until the end of the game, until the Kings came within 3 with 2:51 to go in the fourth. But Russell Westbrook promptly made a layup, and it never got that close again. All in all, the Thunder took care of business the entire game, with it never getting closer than 3 after the first half, and even then, the Kings only had short leads at the beginning of the first and second quarters. A very good handling of a very dangerous team that knows our weaknesses.
Below: Analysis, Awards
As I've stated in the last two Kings recaps, the Kings have our number because they tend to play a very high-scoring, inside-oriented, and fast-paced game. They also discourage the use of too many hyphens when referencing their team. But, in the end, I think this game came down to rebounds. Against an extremely soft center like Spencer Hawes, Nenad Krstic can get down and dirty. He can grab rebounds and dunk like nobodies business. Not to mention the fact that our team is very adept at rebounding, whereas the Kings have Carl Landry and that's about it.
I think the one thing to take away from this game is the hope that now that Carl Landry is away from the Rockets, we'll be able to compete with and close a game against them. They've been thorns in our side in the past, and a win against them would really help out the Thunder when dealing with playoff seeding. That's right, I said when dealing with playoff seeding, not wondering whether we'll make the playoffs. Because we will.
Thunder Wonder: Kevin Durant, for almost reaching 40.
Thunder Down Under: Nenad Krstic, for showing us how ballin' he would be if everybody he played was either Charmin soft on defense or under 6' 7".
Thunder Blunder: James Harden, for a failure to score well in what should have been his type of game.
Thunder Plunderer: Carl Landry. Tyreke Evans shows up like he did tonight every single night, so he's just a Kings staple. But, if Carl Landry hadn't shown up tonight, they wouldn't have even been close to victory.
Next Game: At the Nuggets, Wednesday, March 3rd, 8 PM Central Standard Time