In a complete and total basketball-pocalypse, the Oklahoma City Thunder have smashed the Denver Nuggets, . The Thunder were up by 17 at the half, and 30 after three quarters. Westbrook sat the entire fourth quarter, and Kevin Durant sat the last 10 minutes.
The Thunder's first half advantage owes to the good play of Serge Ibaka and Kevin Durant. Kevin Durant kickstarted his game by getting into transition a couple of times with a perimeter steal, and hit a mid-range fadeaway. There was a bit of a cool period for KD after that, as he missed a couple of jumpers on JaKarr Sampson. Durant thought one missed jumper was a foul. This got KD and Coach Donovan so angry that both were given technical fouls mid-2nd quarter. KD heated up towards the end of the 2nd though, hitting a three and getting to the rim past Faried. Ibaka's success was his typical stuff. The defense left Ibaka alone to shoot, and he was able to get a couple of opportunities in transition.
In the second half, the Thunder's hustle and defense got the team out in transition. Morrow, KD, and Adams all had scores off of defensive plays. Then Roberson came through with four, cutting to the rim on an inbounds play and on the baseline. Even the Westbrook-Kanter pick and roll got four quick points for OKC. The last piece of the puzzle was Dion Waiters. Waiters had a circus weak side drive, a steal and score, and two easy three pointers during the third quarter. Enes Kanter was atrocious on defense as usual, but the Thunder got enough steals for it to not matter. Also, the Nuggets were routinely bricking open shots.
- Randy Foye hit a transition three and had a score around a Kanter pick. Pretty much a wash on defense, and three missed shots. Kinda meh, but good enough to get through a game like this.
- Kenneth Faried had a hard time getting to the basket on Ibaka.
- Gary Harris was easily the best Nugget tonight. Couple of threes, couple of mid-range pull-ups, and a score over Adams at the rim.
- Kyle Singler was 0-3, missing a couple of push shots at the rim and a semi-open corner three. Blech.
- Russell Westbrook was in "quiet engine" mode tonight. Not many shots taken, and a lot of wild transition play that tried to create immediate offense. I'll live with 12 assists to 5 turnovers for sure.
- Unfortunately, Cameron Payne only got minutes in garbage time. He made a three, and also airballed a three.
- Anthony Morrow did get legitimate minutes though, and his three legitimate threes.
- Bonus minutes for Nick Collison and Nazr Mohammed! I guess we can give up hope of ever seeing the young guys. Mitch McGary and Josh Huestis were inactive.
- After 3, Waiters, KD, and Russ accounted for 24 of the Thunder's 29 assists. (Thanks RK!)
- Lauvergne straight up blew a jam at one point.
- This was the first time the Thunder ever swept the Denver Nuggets in a season. The Nuggets were the last Northwest Division opponent that the Thunder had not beaten.
- Westbrook's 17th triple double ties Magic Johnson's record in 88-89. Really wondering whether Westbrook will play in the final four games.
- D.J. Augustin banked in a 60 foot shot tonight...cleanly. Kept the Nuggets only down by 3 heading into the second.
Thunder Wonder: Kevin Durant, 26 Points on 8-14 shooting, with 8 assists and only 1 Turnover
Thunder Down Under: Serge Ibaka, 7-11 swift shooting
Thunder Blunder: Kyle Singler, 0fer
Thunder Plunderer: Garry Harris, 17 Points, 5 Assists, 2 Steals.
Next Game: At the Portland Trail Blazers, Wednesday, April 6th, 9 PM Central Standard Time.
What did you think of tonight's game? Drop a comment and let us know!