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Thunder 103, Nuggets 90: Lingering Thoughts (2011-2012 Game 43 Full Recap)

Yahoo! Sports Box Score:

I said most of what I wanted to say about the game itself in the quick recap yesterday, so I'm going to classify this "full" recap as a Lingering Thoughts post.

Durant-Westbrook

  • Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook combined for a measly 47 points, barely over half of their previous total when facing off against the Nuggets. Fortunately, the rest of the team stepped up, and the Thunder were able to easily cruise to victory over the Nuggets in the fourth quarter last night.
  • That being said, Kevin Durant didn't have a perfect game. During the second quarter, he took a few off-balance mid-range attempts and pull-up threes. This pretty much stagnated the offense, and allowed the Nuggets to rally from a 12 point deficit.
  • Russell Westbrook's performance was also hampered, but his main transgressions came from his 7 turnovers. 2 of those came off of bad passes into the lane, and three of them came from stepping out of bounds. I'm not reading too much into the turnovers, since they were just stupid mistakes. But three of them came during our third quarter run, and if the Nuggets were able to capitalize offensively, they would have let the Nuggets back into the game.
  • Still, you have to give credit where it's due. Westbrook did hit a couple of essential threes during the third, and Durant helped keep the lead strong in the fourth.
Below: How the rest did, Awards!

The Rest

  • Ibaka probably had the most disappointing night, especially when you consider his past performances against the Nuggets. He didn't roll to the basket very often, and 4 of his 5 missed attempts were really difficult shots around the basket. I can understand Ibaka backing someone down for a short hook if it's been drawn up for a play and he's in rhythm, but trying it off of a rebound or a haphazard inside pass almost guarantees the miss. I would have liked to see a bit more offensive involvement, and for him to recognize what is and isn't a tough shot around the basket.
  • Durant led the team with 8 rebounds. The Nuggets did a good job of keeping the Thunder bigs away from the basket. Usually, when Durant grabbed a board, one of the Thunder's big men had been lured out to the perimeter, and the other was going for a block or otherwise occupied.
  • Whenever the Nuggets didn't know what to do on offense, they shot a three. A couple of their missed attempts were good, but the vast majority of them were out of rhythm or way too far behind the line. As long the Thunder kept the Nuggets out of the paint, they ceased to have problems.

Thunder Wonder: Kevin Durant, for points that came at the most clutch of times in the 3rd and 4th and avoiding getting fouled out.

Thunder Down Under: Daequan Cook, for his excellent shooting that helped ignite a serious 2nd quarter run.

Thunder Blunder: Serge Ibaka, for a poor offensive showing against a team he knows he can beat in the post.

Thunder Plunderer: Andre Miller, for getting so many free points in the paint.

Next Game: Versus the San Antonio Spurs, Friday, March 16th, 8:30 PM Eastern Standard Time.