The Oklahoma City Thunder snapped the Denver Nuggets’ 6-game winning streak last night beating them 117-97 at Chesapeake Arena.
The Thunder jumped on top of the Nuggets early and never looked back. OKC scored the first seven points of the game and led 34-18 after one and 67-47 at halftime.
While the offense looked as good as ever, so did the defense of the Thunder. They were intense on every possession and made the game a nightmare for Denver.
The Thunder will bring their 5-game winning streak on the road for the next six games.
Here are the Game Grades:
Kevin Durant – 29 minutes, 20 points, 2 rebounds, 4 assists – A
Durant was very efficient making 7-of-12 shots and he did a great job of getting his teammates involved as well. He tied a season-high with five steals. There were plenty of open looks for KD as the ball movement was fantastic and the Denver defense was forced to focus on stopping Russell Westbrook quite a bit.
Russell Westbrook – 28 minutes, 32 points, 4 assists, 2 rebounds – A+
This may have been Westbrook’s best game of the season so far as he was unstoppable with his pull-up jumper all night. He scored 16 of his points in the first quarter as he played very under control. Denver was simply unable to match the energy that Westbrook had and he took advantage. The Thunder are just impossible to beat when Westbrook is making the kind of shots he was last night.
Serge Ibaka – 27 minutes, 5 points, 6 rebounds, 5 blocks – B
Ibaka returned from injury to start last night after missing the last two Thunder games with a chest contusion. He only took five shots in the game as Westbrook was busy looking for his. Ibaka didn’t seem to have missed a beat on the defensive end blocking five shots.
Kevin Martin – 19 minutes, 20 points, 1 rebound – A+
You can’t ask for much more from Martin than scoring a point per minute. He made 2-of-3 threes in the game which is always a good sign and scored at the rim a number of times as well. He had two nice drives to the rim in the half court and leaked out for fast break layups three times.
Kendrick Perkins – 24 minutes, 2 points, 5 rebounds, 2 blocks – B
Perkins made just 1-of-6 shots last night but the one make was really impressive. Perkins took Kosta Koufos off the dribble from the 3-point line, spun to the rim then went to the fadeaway from the baseline. It’s a move you’d never expect Perkins to be able to repeat. He had another great defensive game as well.
Thabo Sefolosha – 22 minutes, 9 points, 2 rebounds, 1 assist – B+
Thunder announcer Brian Davis said it best calling Sefolosha 3-point attempts “target practice.” That was definitely the case last night as the open looks were plentiful for Sefolosha all game long. He made 3-of-5 threes in the game and was great on the defensive end as well.
Nick Collison – 9 minutes, 4 points, 2 rebounds, 2 assists – B
Collison is interested in playing during blowouts. Scott Brooks took this game as an opportunity to get run for some of the other players. Collison was pretty much perfect while he was out there though.
Reggie Jackson – 20 minutes, 8 points, 7 assists, 6 rebounds – A
Jackson had his best game of the year last night as well. He showed how he can do a little bit of everything racking up the rebounds as well as dimes. Jackson found Martin leaking out for fast break layups three times after grabbing rebounds. He looked very confident running the show too.
DeAndre Liggins – 20 minutes, 6 points, 1 rebound, 1 assist – A
Liggins once again brought the energy and intensity on defense and it translated to good things on offense too. He made both of his 3-point attempts and is always active running around making the defense work. There’s a reason Liggins has cracked the Thunder rotation now.
Hasheem Thabeet – 19 minutes, 3 points, 4 rebounds, 2 blocks – B
Thabeet looked good again. He had a nice offensive rebound and finish inside and blocked a few shots.
Perry Jones, III – 14 minutes, 6 points, 3 rebounds, 2 assists – A
Jones looked the best he has all season last night. Perhaps it was because the game was a blowout and Jones could relax a little. He made his first field goal of the game which was a short jumper from the baseline. He handled the ball up the floor with guard-like ease, made some nice passes from the post and finished one layup like a freak athlete. Jones has the tools. He just needs to get more confident and comfortable.
Jeremy Lamb – 10 minutes, 2 points, 1 rebound – C
It was officially garbage time by the time Lamb saw playing time. He made 1-of-5 shots as he didn’t look warm out there. You can’t grade his game too much from last night.