From the words of the Nuggets announcers last night: “Add Al Harrington to the list of Kevin Durant posters.”
That’s the kind of night it was for the Denver Nuggets. They just didn’t have the motivation it seemed to come out and match the Thunder’s intensity.
Oklahoma City cruised to a 103-90 win last night never breaking stride along the way.
Durant led the way scoring 24 points. He made all four of his shots at the rim and went 2-for-2 from 16-to-23 feet. Durant’s only blemish was making just 1-of-5 treys.
Russell Westbrook didn’t have his cleanest night with seven turnovers but had nice touch from deep making 2-of-3 threes and 3-of-7 long twos.
Thabo Sefolosha returned to the starting lineup after missing the last 23 games for the Thunder. The Thunder defense returned to their old ways last night too now that Daequan Cook could start coming off the bench again.
Last year, Oklahoma City’s defense was one of the best in the league but they have struggled somewhat in that department this season. It was good to see them show glimpses of their potential on the defensive end last night.
The Thunder may be the best in the NBA at turning good defense into quick-scoring offense. We saw a great example of that last night after a Serge Ibaka block on Harrington quickly turned into a fast break alley-oop from Westbrook to James Harden.
That was Harden’s only bucket at the rim last night as he comfortably lit the Nuggets up from three instead. He made 4-of-6 threes in the game as the Thunder made a season-high 12 threes as a team last night.
Another big component to the return of Sefolosha is the Thunder getting back to their normal rotation. Cook seemed more comfortable coming back off the bench to the tune of making three three-pointers last night.
Reggie Jackson also played well with five points and four assists. There were some rumors just before the trade deadline about the Thunder possibly pursuing D.J. Augustin from the Charlotte Bobcats. The potential deal likely would have included Jackson, who seemed possibly relieved to still be with the Thunder last night and it was reflected in his game.
Tonight we will see the top two teams in the West do battle as the Thunder will host San Antonio. The Spurs made some noise yesterday trading away Richard Jefferson to Golden State for Stephen Jackson.
Tags: Al Harrington Daequan Cook James Harden Kevin Durant NBA Trade Deadline Reggie Jackson Richard Jefferson Russell Westbrook San Antonio Spurs Serge Ibaka Stephen Jackson Thabo Sefolosha Thunder Vs Nuggets