Oklahoma City trailed by as many as 16 points in the first half and by as many as nine in the fourth quarter. However, Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook and Serge Ibaka would not be beaten tonight. Durant led Oklahoma City with a career-high 51 points. Westbrook scored 40 points, 9 assists and just 2 turnovers. Ibaka had 14 points on 6-7 shooting with 15 rebounds and 11 blocks. Ibaka's 15 rebounds was also a career-high.
Oklahoma City would survive late in regulation and pulled away in overtime. After a big Kevin Durant dunk, Oklahoma City led by three. Durant would hit the free throws down the end for the 124-118 victory for the Thunder. OKC improves to 24-7 on the season, including 12-1 at home. The Nuggets fought hard, but dropped to 17-15 on the season. Also, Nuggets are 9-8 on the road now.
Oklahoma City had a nice 14-2 run to give the Thunder a 25-17 lead late in the first quarter. The Nuggets would counter with a 10-0 to end the first quarter. Kevin Durant was unstoppable, he had 12 first quarter points, including two three point shots.
Nuggets would continue that run into the second quarter where they would grab their biggest lead of the game at 46-32, continuing a 29-7 run. Oklahoma City fought back. Kevin Durant had eight points in the run, fighting back from multiple double point deficits. OKC finished the half with a 5-0 run, capped off by a three-point shot that could have been from the third floor of the Devon Tower it was so deep.
Oklahoma City used the momentum they built in the first half into the second half. The Thunder ran off a 20-0 run through 5 minutes and 39 seconds spanning the second and third quarters. The Thunder maxed their biggest lead at 70-62 with 6:26 left in the quarter. The Nuggets would make a little noise of their own. A 15-6 run to get their first lead since early in the quarter.
In a game of runs, it was the same thing in the fourth quarter. the Nuggets got up nine points, Oklahoma City came back and tied it up. The Nuggets' Ty Lawson hit a big three point shot with :54.4 seconds left. Then Durant missed on a layup. Al Harrington hit two free throws to push the lead to 111-106. Durant came back and answered with another three point shot, cutting it to 111-109. Lawson missed on the ensuing possession. OKC had a chance.
Durant took the ball on the in bound pass and took Andersen to the rim and scored on the dunk! Ty Lawson had a chance to win the game in regulation, but the shot was off the rim. We went to overtime tied at 111-111.
Westbrook started out overtime by hitting a big three point shot, giving OKC the ealry three point lead. OKC's defense was stifling. Westbrook hit another big shot to give OKC another three point lead with 2:50 remaining in Overtime off the Denver turnover. Kostas Koufos with the put back off a Miller miss, cut the OKC lead to one point at 116-115. Great defense by James Harden caused Miller to travel late in overtime. Durant caused a steal and he took it the distance with the finger roll lay up with :57.1 Thunder lead 120-115.
Aaron Afflalo answered on the ensuing possesion with a BIG three-pont shot, cutting OKC's lead to 120-118. Honey Badger Westbrook was not to be out-done. He shook off Miller and hit the jumper. The Nuggets would not be able to score again.
Ibaka did grab the rebound off a miss, tossed it to Durant as he was fouled. Durant hit both free throws. It gave Kevin Durant his first 50 points game in his career.
Post Game Grades
Oklahoma City were out rebounded 51-44. They allowed 18 offensive rebounds. The Nuggets had 25 second chance points. Pathetic. Oklahoma City had only given up 1 offensive rebound with about 7 minutes to go in the second quarter, then the gates opened up. Denver had 17 offensive rebounds in the next 35 minutes.
I'm giving OKC a B here because they had seven turnovers at half, 14 overall. However, they weren't many careless turnovers. A lot were good defensive plays by the Nuggets. Westbrook only had two turnovers, we'll get into that in a minute. OKC forced 15 Nugget turnovers, which has to be the first time all season OKC had less turnovers than their counterparts.
Russell Westbrook: A+++
It's hard to believe that Westbrook dropped 40 points, 9 rebounds and only two turnovers and he's not even the best in the box score. Heck, he's not even the second best game on the court tonight! He was in control all night. Maybe the best game Westbrook played all season.
- Never before has a team have a 50 point scorer, a 40 point scorer and a guy pull down a triple-double in the same game. NBA first.
- Durant had his first 50 point game. 51 points on 19-28 shooting. He was 5-6 from three point range and 8-10 from the charity stripe. His previous high was 48 points against two different teams.
- Durant was averaging 26.8 points coming into the game, good for third in the league. After tonight, Durant is averaging 27.6 points per game now.
- First time since 1996 that two teammates scored at least 40 points. You might recognize these names. First since Jordan and Pippen. Think about that.
- Westbrook's 40 points was almost a career-high. His previous career-high was 43 against the Pacers a couple of seasons ago. However, he was great. 16-29 from the floor. 9 assists and just two assists. Easily his best game of the season.
- Serge Ibaka's triple-double is also the first EVER in franchise history that included blocks. No, not just the Thunder, but no one in SONIC'S history ever had a triple-double. Also, Ibaka's 15 rebounds is a career high for him.
- 41 minutes played by Serge Ibaka tied his career high tonight.
- Where the hell was Daequan Cook? 1-6 from the floor (was a lay up) and 0-5 from three-point range. Over half of his attempts were wide open. He's 0-9 his last three games. Coming into the game he was a 40% shooter from three-point range. He's under that now...
- James Harden as well. He struggled. However, he didn't give up. Harden played 39 minutes and scored just 10 points. However, he shot horribly, 2-12 from the floor, 1-7 from deep. He still scored 10 points. He was 5-6 from the line.
- Someone take Reggie Jackson's three-point shooting permission slips away. It's so bad to watch him shoot it. He finished with a team worst -14.
- 28 three-point attempts by Oklahoma City? That's not what we need. I guess you shoot it if it's not going in, because that's what happened tonight. OKC was just 9-28 from three-point range
- It helped that the Nuggets were just 6-22 from deep. They were 2-13 at one point. They did finish 4-9 down the stretch. It seemed like every time they needed a three, they got one. Well, except for at the end.
- Lost in the shuffle was Nick Collison. He grabbed his 500th offensive rebound as an Oklahoma City Thunder player tonight.
- The Thunder have won nine straight home games, their longest home winning streak since moving to Oklahoma City. The last time they won nine in a row at home was the 2004-05 season when they were in Seattle. They last won 10 consecutive home games from Feb.-April 1998.
Next up: versus the New Orleans Hornets