Last night against the Nuggets, Kevin did not score half a century mark. Russell Westbrook did not score 40. Serge Ibaka did not have a triple-double. And yet, as fun as the first meeting between these two teams was, this game felt much more satisfying. The Thunder were coming into the match-up having played two weeks of mediocre Thunder basketball and had been searching to regain their mojo. Denver still has the acrid taste of last year's playoffs in their collective mouths. On top of that, right before the game started they found out that their big man Nene Hilario had been traded away, so emotions were certain to be running high in Denver.
After a competitive first half that saw the Nuggets close out well to take a one point lead, we finally saw the return of true Thunder basketball in the second half. Thabo Sefolosha was back in the lineup, and while he still needs to find his sea-legs, I think his mere addition on the court balances out the Thunder roster more than we cared to realize. Everybody on the team looked much more comfortable, and on an individual basis nobody even really had an explosive game. Instead, it was balanced across the board, as Durant & Westbrook combined for 47 and James Harden led the great bench play with 18. Overall the bench combined to score 44 points and did a great job producing good offense to help the team win.