What is your initial reaction to tonight's result?
Oklahoma City has been playing incredible on offense these past two games, but the defensive end still leaves a lot to be desired. Though they have scored 255 points in the past two contests, they have also given up 222 points. That will likely have to change against the Memphis Grizzlies coming up later in the week, who are always a tough play for the Thunder (and pretty much every other team in the league, too).
Overall, this was still a great win for OKC, putting them into a tie with New Orleans for the 9th spot in the Western Conference and just 1.5 games behind Phoenix for the coveted 8th playoff spot.
What was, overall, the main reason why the Thunder won?
I could just write "Kevin Durant" and feel pretty okay about my reasoning, but this Thunder win was propelled a lot by the little things done by the players around him tonight.
Russell Westbrook had a really quiet 26 points and 9 assists and Andre Roberson even pitched in a career high 12 points including two (!!!) makes from 3-point range. Anthony Morrow seemed like he had his shot in rhythm after missing the game yesterday, scoring 9 points on 4-6 shooting.
And how could I not talk about the increasingly important role of Mitch McGary? McBro notched another double-double with 17 points and 10 boards in his 25 minutes of energy-filled action.
Beyond the numbers, Royce Young made a good point that a lot of Durant's shots tonight were being set up by some solid screening by Kendrick Perkins, who continues to show some value even when fans (myself included) start to doubt how important he is to this team.
Thunder Wonder: Kevin Durant: 40 points (13-19, 7-12 from 3)
Thunder Down Under: Mitch McGary: 17 points, 10 rebounds, 45 hustle plays (approximate)
Thunder Blunder: Dion Waiters: 2 points (1-8 shooting), 3 turnovers
Thunder Plunderer: Kenneth Faried: 22 points (8-14 shooting), 10 rebounds
P.S. Let's not forget to mention the fascinating pre-game handshake by Jeremy Lamb and Perry Jones III. Pretty tight action for a duo who recorded a combined zero minutes of action.
Next game: vs Memphis Grizzlies on Feb. 11 at 7PM CDT