The Oklahoma City Thunder rolled the Denver Nuggets on Wednesday evening, beating them 117-97 at home.
Russell Westbrook had an All-Star caliber night and let the assault on Denver, putting up 32 points, half of which came in the first quarter alone. He simply couldn’t miss; be a jumper, a free throw, or driving for a layup, Westbrook struck gold from all over the court. This, coming off a season-best 36-point performance against Phoenix on Monday night. Kevin Durant and Kevin Martin each dropped 20 in this winning effort.
Additionally, Serge Ibaka returned to the lineup after missing a few games with a chest contusion, and had five points, six boards, and five blocks on the night.
In dismantling Denver, Oklahoma City snapped the Nuggets’ six-game winning streak, their longest of the season thus far.
For Denver, Kosta Koufas led the team with 16 points and nine rebounds.
The rout was on early at Chesapeake Arena, with Westbrook hitting six of his first eight shots and racking up 16 points in the first 10 minutes. Oklahoma City scored the first seven points of the game, to which Denver had no answer, and also had a pair of 8-0 spurts in the first quarter alone. The dagger came in the first three minutes of the second quarter when Kick Collision’s two-handed slam extended OKCs domination to a 45-23 lead. Finally, Denver called a timeout to regroup, but they never got within 17 points after that dunk.
Denver could get nothing going defensively, nor could they play with enough energy to move the ball on offense. And it didn’t help that they committed 21 turnovers, free points that the Thunder greedily gobbled up.
These Western Conference foes will meet again on Sunday, this time in Denver’s house.
Oklahoma City advances to 31-8 on the season, and will have a challenge on Fri., Dec. 18, when they face the Dallas Mavericks on the road.