The Oklahoma City Thunder had an easy one last night. They led 30-17 after one quarter and never looked back as the Toronto Raptors failed to give them much of a challenge.
The Thunder shot 47.3 percent from the field and 24 of their 35 field goals were assisted upon. They held the Raptors to just 35.7 percent shooting and Toronto had more turnovers than assists.
Raptors point guard Kyle Lowry went down with a right ankle injury after playing 17 minutes and would not return effectively ending any chances of a Toronto comeback.
The Thunder are now 2-2 on the year, on to the Game Grades:
Kevin Durant – 29 minutes, 15 points, 3 assists, 6 rebounds – B
Durant didn’t have to do much last night and only shot 4-for-11 from the field and 1-for-4 from three. He finished with one more turnover than assists which continues to be an issue for him as he tries to develop into more of a playmaker this season. Durant’s improvement as a defensive rebounder will make it easier for the Thunder to go small more often this season and into the playoffs which is a very good thing.
Russell Westbrook – 29 minutes, 19 points, 8 assists, 1 rebound – A
Westbrook played well and that meant the Thunder weren’t losing. The matchup with Lowry wasn’t going to be an easy one but Westbrook made us forget that very quickly. He continues to rack up the assists with very few turnovers and so far on the season is averaging 7.0 assists and 2.8 turnovers per game. He hurt his left shoulder vs. Atlanta and wore a protective sleeve over the shoulder tonight. He did not seem to be affected by it at all though.
Serge Ibaka – 23 minutes, 17 points, 4 rebounds, 2 blocks – A
Ibaka made it look easy last night going 8-of-9 from the field while playing just half the game. That’s two straight games like this for Ibaka after getting off to a slow start in the first two. His midrange jumper was on point and he was finishing around the rim nicely too.
Kevin Martin – 22 minutes, 15 points, 2 assists, 3 rebounds – B
Martin came into the game shooting over 70 percent on threes but went just 1-for-4 in this one. He still found a way to score 15 points and has done so in each game so far this season. Replacing Harden is impossible but Martin brings something to the table too. He looks like the veteran that he is out there and should be a very key and reliable contributor for OKC this year.
Kendrick Perkins – 22 minutes, 4 points, 9 rebounds, 2 blocks – A
The role players really played well in this one and Perkins was one of them. He did everything OKC wanted him to and had a really positive impact, even knocking down a jumper from beyond the free throw line for one of his field goals.
Thabo Sefolosha – 25 minutes, 11 points, 2 assists, 5 rebounds – A
Sefolosha made three 3s in the first quarter which was a big reason why the Thunder jumped out to their early lead. Doubles were coming Durant and Westbrook’s ways so Sefolosha made himself an open target in the corners and made Toronto pay. He is producing more in the early stages this year than last year. Not sure if that’s a good or bad thing but probably a necessary thing either way after Harden.
Nick Collison – 13 minutes, 2 points, 4 rebounds, 1 assist – B
Harden didn’t play a lot in this one as Scott Brooks instead experimented giving Hasheem Thabeet more run. No big deal for Collison who still showed up to work and did his job. He seems to be developing a good chemistry with Martin in the second unit similar to what he had with Harden.
Eric Maynor – 20 minutes, 9 points, 2 assists, 1 steal – B
Maynor looked good tonight but struggled with his shot going 3-of-9 from the field and 0-for-3 from three. He made two really nice looking floaters and his confidence seems to be increasing as the season goes on.
Hasheem Thabeet – 23 minutes, 10 points, 5 rebounds, 2 blocks – A+
If Thabeet can keep giving the Thunder what he did last night, they will be in great shape this season. Thabeet went 2-for-2 from the field and 6-for-6 from the line and really made the most of his minutes. He looked very focused and determined. Of course, he had to foul out though.
Perry Jones, III – 18 minutes, 0 points, 3 rebounds, 1 assist – C
Jones was hesitant and looked like a rookie last night. He was described as someone who could disappear when he was in college and that seemed to be the case last night. He will need to let loose some and play more freely to start contributing more in OKC.
Reggie Jackson – 6 minutes, 3 points, 2 rebounds – C
Jackson went 1-for-4 from the field and didn’t show anything special.
Jeremy Lamb – 6 minutes, 3 points, 1 rebound, 1 assist – B
Lamb looks very confident out there and like he is kind of mad he isn’t playing yet. This is a good thing as it feels like he won’t waste an opportunity if given one. He is extremely confident with his shot and once again hoisted a 30-plus footer in garbage time, maybe a new tradition for the Thunder?
DeAndre Liggins – 3 minutes, 3 rebounds – C
Liggins got his first playing time of the season last night. Can’t really take much away from his three minutes.