The Oklahoma City Thunder won their franchise-record 12th straight game last night defeating the Atlanta Hawks on the road 100-92 to improve to 21-4 on the year.
The Hawks were one of four teams in the NBA to beat the Thunder this season doing so in OKC’s third game of the year in OKC.
The Thunder came out with a chip on their shoulder for this game. There was some physical play that seemed to bring the best out of the Thunder as well.
The Thunder shot just 42.9 percent from the field but Atlanta shot only 38.3 percent. The difference ultimately was the Thunder getting to the line more and making eight more free throws than the Hawks.
The Thunder will have another tough test tonight playing a road back-to-back in Minnesota. The game will be nationally televised on TNT at 7 p.m. EST.
Here are the Game Grades:
Kevin Durant – 41 minutes, 41 points, 13 rebounds, 3 assists – A+
Durant scored a season-high 41 on 14-of-23 shooting from the field, 4-of-8 shooting from three and 9-of-10 shooting from the free throw line. It was obviously his best scoring night as he really had it going with his jumper and was very aggressive taking it to the rim all night long. He would turn the ball over six times but overall his aggressiveness was a good thing, especially with Kyle Korver guarding him for a lot of the game. Durant scored 18 of his points in the fourth quarter as he violently shut the door on Atlanta.
Russell Westbrook – 39 minutes, 27 points, 11 assists, 3 rebounds – A
While it was Durant in the second half, it was Westbrook in the first as he scored 21 of his 27 in the first 24 minutes. Westbrook also had his jumper going which is always a very good sign for the Thunder. The big assist night was great too and could have been much more if Serge Ibaka had shot better.
Serge Ibaka – 34 minutes, 4 points, 14 rebounds, 3 blocks – B
Ibaka was not making his jump shot like he normally does but he did other things to still remain valuable for the Thunder. The 14 boards were big as Ibaka continues to improve as a rebounder. He also blocked three shots all of which came in highlight fashion and really frustrated the Hawks players and their home announcers.
Kevin Martin – 26 minutes, 6 points, 2 rebounds, 1 steal – C
When Martin and Ibaka combine for 10 points, the Thunder aren’t in the best position to win. Martin went 0-for-4 from three and 3-for-5 on twos in the game. He doesn’t do much else other than score so when he only puts up six points, it can be a problem for the Thunder.
Kendrick Perkins – 28 minutes, 2 points, 7 rebounds, 2 blocks – B
Perkins played really good defense in the game holding Al Horford to 5-of-14 shooting and really living up to his title as the physical enforcer for the Thunder. It’s always the little things that Perkins does and last night those little things stood out quite a bit.
Thabo Sefolosha – 30 minutes, 9 points, 7 rebounds, 2 blocks – B
Sefolosha was coming off his worst shooting night of the season vs. San Antonio but that didn’t faze him last night. He made 3-of-5 threes and was all over the court in other ways as well. With Martin and Ibaka not hitting shots, it was really crucial for Sefolosha to knock down the few threes that he did.
Nick Collison – 20 minutes, 0 points, 1 rebound, 4 assists – B+
Collison didn’t take any shots in the game other than a fadeaway three at the end of the shot clock. Instead he distributed to the tune of four dimes and also blocked two shots and made two steals. It wasn’t his best game but solid as always.
Eric Maynor – 9 minutes, 0 points, 1 assist, 1 steal – B-
Not many minutes again for Maynor last night and he missed both of his shots. The Hawks had quick guards which is turning out to be a bad matchup for Maynor these days.
Hasheem Thabeet – 9 minutes, 6 points, 4 rebounds – A
In nine minutes, you can’t ask for much more than Thabeet than six points and four boards. One of his field goals was a little 8-foot jumper from the baseline which was pretty impressive and something no one knew Thabeet had in his game.
Jeremy Lamb – 5 minutes, 5 points, 1 rebound, 1 steal – A
Lamb got five minutes in the first half in the part of the rotation where Sefolosha usually returns for Durant at the end of the first quarter. Lamb shined in that little time making two jumpers including a three. He can really shoot it effortlessly and in his time with the Tulsa 66ers has been scoring well over 20 per game. He might be slowly inching toward being a part of the rotation which would be a good thing for the Thunder as they could use a little more scoring punch off the bench from time to time.