The Oklahoma City Thunder took care of business at home last night beating the Los Angeles Lakers 114-108 to improve to 16-4 on the year.
The Lakers were banged up for the game playing without Steve Nash and Pau Gasol but still put up a fight.
The Thunder offense was unstoppable though and scored 41 points in the second quarter to get out to a huge lead. The Lakers were fighting from behind after that and came close in the end but never had enough to get over the hump.
The Thunder – who lead the league in true shooting percentage – shot 48.8 percent from the field and 52.9 percent from 3-point range for the game.
Kobe Bryant paced the Lakers with 35 points and Dwight Howard had 23 points and 18 rebounds.
On to the Thunder Game Grades:
Kevin Durant – 44 minutes, 36 points, 9 rebounds, 4 assists – A+
Durant was a monster last night consistently scoring throughout the game. He looks so comfortable picking his spots offensively this season and last night was another example of that. He made 14-of-16 free throws and 2-of-4 threes. Metta World Peace used to be Durant’s kryptonite but that is true no more.
Russell Westbrook – 40 minutes, 33 points, 8 assists, 1 rebound – A
It was a tale of two halves for Westbrook who went nuts in the first scoring 27 points and making five 3-pointers. He was totally feeling it but in the second half kind of slowed down scoring just six points and none in the third quarter. The pull-up jumper was flowing for Westbrook and when that’s the case, he is absolutely unguardable. The Lakers tried to slow him down with Chris Duhon and Darius Morris who just had no chance of staying in front of him.
Serge Ibaka – 31 minutes, 14 points, 6 rebounds, 1 block – B
It wasn’t a huge game from Ibaka but solid nonetheless. Because Westbrook was shooting so much, passes weren’t coming his way quite as much but 14 points is still nice. He blocked just one shot and didn’t make a huge presence defensively as he wasn’t really used to cover Howard ever.
Kevin Martin – 26 minutes, 11 points, 3 assists, 1 steal – B-
Martin didn’t make a huge impact but was efficient at least making 4-of-8 field goals. He was matched up with Kobe a lot who locked him up pretty good. We’re still waiting on Martin to score big against good opponents.
Kendrick Perkins – 23 minutes, 0 points, 3 rebounds, 2 assists – C
Perkins’ job was defending Howard and he was nothing too special doing so. He is more valuable than usual in this matchup however but zero points and three rebounds is never enough.
Thabo Sefolosha – 34 minutes, 5 points, 5 rebounds, 2 assists – C+
Sefolosha is needed more than ever to check Kobe in this matchup with no more James Harden and Martin being so weak defensively. He always does a good job and hit the only three he took last night.
Nick Collison – 17 minutes, 13 points, 7 rebounds, 1 block – A+
When Collison gives you 13 points in 17 minutes, that is just huge. He was defending Howard a lot and it was a lot to handle but then he really took it to him at the other end as well. The Thunder needed someone to step up off the bench and Collison was that guy.
Eric Maynor – 8 minutes, 0 points, 2 assists – D
Maynor is simply not looking good this year. Morris played tough defense on him last night and Maynor can’t handle that this year. His impact is so small and he’s not creating any space to shoot or distribute and it’s resulting in him losing minutes every week.
Hasheem Thabeet – 18 minutes, 2 points, 4 rebounds – C
Thabeet didn’t look awful trying to cover Howard and it was clear Scott Brooks had confidence using him in this matchup. He missed some opportunities on the offensive end but that wasn’t a big deal at the end of the day.