Kevin Durant had 25, and Russell Westbrook added 23 as the Oklahoma City Thunder pull away from the Utah Jazz in the final minutes, 106-94.
The Thunder were comfortably in the lead for most of the game, until the Jazz put together a run midway through the 4th to bring the game within 5 with six minutes left in the fourth. The Thunder then went on a 9-2 run, sparked by a technical foul on Jazz coach Tyrone Corbin. The Jazz never threatened again, and the Thunder walked away with 7th win in 8 games.
Both teams did a good job distributing points tonight, as the Thunder had five different players in double figures, while the Jazz had 6. Enes Kanter, coming off the bench, lead the Jazz with 18 points.
What is your initial reaction to tonight's result?
After tonight's win, the Thunder go undefeated in their short 3-game home stand. For most of the game the Thunder seemed to have this game comfortably in hand before a Jazz run late in the fourth. For a second it looked as if the game might go down to wire, with the momentum clearly moving toward the Jazz. But the Thunder tightened up and pulled away to a 12 point victory.
Russell Westbrook put together a monster game, and nearly had sixth triple double of his career(and nearly a quadruple double). Although, Westbrook's night wasn't entirely perfect, as he ended the night with 8 of the teams 21 turnovers.
What was, overall, the main reason why the Thunder won?
The Thunder showed exactly why they are such a difficult team to beat, coming alive in the final six minutes to put the game away. The Thunder were able to get production from nearly position, both Kendrick Perkins and Serge Ibaka had 12 points. Ibaka and the Thunder put together an impressive defensive performance, as Serge had 7 of the team's 14 blocks. Perkins also showed his ability to distribute the ball, ending tonight with 5 assists.
What was a key statistic to understanding the game?
It's no secret that the Thunder are very effective at getting the line early and often. Tonight, they nearly had 3 times the amount of free throw attempts as Utah, 33-12. Surprising the Thunder were a bit off on their shooting from the stripe tonight, only making 24 of their 33 attempts.
The other clear advantage for the Thunder were points in the paint. Ibaka and Perkins combined for 24 of the Thunder's points tonight. The Thunder as a team were able to outscore the Jazz in the paint 52-38.
What does this game mean to the Thunder tonight and going forward?
Once again the Thunder did a pretty good job of distributing points. I remember games last season hardly anyone outside of the big 3 posed much of an offensive threat. As the season has moved on, we've consistently seen Serge Ibaka's offensive game improve every night. The more Thunder players the Thunder can rely on to score points, the bigger headache they become for opposing defenses.
The Thunder have now won 7 out of the last 8, and are currently on a 4 game winning streak. The Thunder have the opportunity to match their season high 5 game winning streak tomorrow night.
Thunder Wonder: Russell Westbrook, 23 points, 10 rebounds, 8 assists, 7 steals.
Thunder Down Under: Serge Ibaka, 12 points, 7 rebounds, 7 blocks.
Thunder Blunder: Eric Maynor, 0 points, 1 turnover, 8 minutes.
Thunder Plunderer: Al Jefferson, 16 points, 11 rebounds.
Next game: @ New Orleans on Saturday, Dec. 1 @ 7 CDT
If you are looking for tickets to upcoming games, you can find Oklahoma City Thunder tickets here.