The Oklahoma City Thunder beat the Memphis Grizzlies last night 106-89 at Chesapeake Arena to improve to 35-11 on the year.
The Thunder got off to a very hot start hitting their first nine shots from the field. They shot 61 percent in the first half and led 58-34 at halftime while Memphis shot just 26 percent.
It was the Grizzlies’ first game since the Rudy Gay trade and they didn’t have any of the three players they acquired in the trade so they were shorthanded.
Zach Randolph missed his first 10 shots from the field which didn’t help matters. He did end up with nine points and 19 boards in the game.
The Thunder will be off tonight and then back in action Saturday night on the road against the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Here are the Game Grades:
Kevin Durant – 38 minutes, 27 points, 7 rebounds, 6 assists – A
Durant was quiet early on and then started to get it going late. He scored five points in a row for the Thunder in the fourth quarter to end any hopes of a Memphis comeback. Durant did a very nice job passing the ball getting six dimes and turning the ball over just twice. It was another nice all-around game from Durant which we are seeing more and more of this season.
Russell Westbrook – 31 minutes, 21 points, 6 assists, 9 rebounds – A
Westbrook led the way for the Thunder getting off to a hot shooting start. He made his first four field goals and quite a few using the glass. He had an argument with Thabo Sefolosha midway through the third quarter and Scott Brooks benched Westbrook after that. He came back strong in the fourth though. The Thunder were plus-20 with Westbrook on the floor.
Serge Ibaka – 26 minutes, 4 points, 1 rebound, 6 blocks – C+
Not much was heard from Ibaka in this game except for his six blocks, many of which were emphatic. Just one rebound and only four points is not a great effort from Ibaka, especially when Randolph gets 19 boards on the other team. With Westbrook knocking down his shot and looking to score, shots were scarce to come by for Ibaka.
Kevin Martin – 29 minutes, 16 points, 2 assists, 1 rebound – B+
Martin played his role much better than the first time OKC played Memphis this season. He had just seven points in that game and 16 last night, including 3-of-4 from deep. Martin’s game almost entirely hinges on whether or not he’s making threes. The open looks will always be there though and Durant did a nice job of finding Martin a few times.
Kendrick Perkins – 26 minutes, 7 points, 7 rebounds, 2 blocks – B+
Perkins is starting to score a little more lately. Not sure how long this will last but the Thunder will take it in the meantime. He had a couple of nice blocks as well. Like Ibaka, the only drawback was allowing Memphis 21 offensive rebounds.
Thabo Sefolosha – 23 minutes, 7 points, 2 rebounds, 3 assists – B
There was no Gay for Sefolosha to check so his defensive prowess wasn’t really called upon. He made 3-of-5 shots and 1-of-2 threes in the game which is perfect from him.
Nick Collison – 26 minutes, 12 points, 7 rebounds, 1 assist – B+
Collison got a few more minutes than usual because he was playing really well and scoring. He made 4-of-5 shots and all four of his free throw attempts. He also drew two offensive fouls in the first half. Yeah, it’s hard to find anything wrong with Collison ever.
Reggie Jackson – 15 minutes, 4 points, 6 rebounds, 1 assist – B
Jackson has to be the best rebounding backup point guard in the NBA. Six more boards from him last night to go with four points which was another solid effort from him.
Hasheem Thabeet – 11 minutes, 4 points, 2 rebounds, 2 blocks – B+
You can’t ask for much more from Thabeet in 11 minutes. He was obviously up for the game going against the team that drafted him.
DeAndre Liggins – 8 minutes, 2 points, 1 rebound, 1 assist – B
Typical Liggins energy and doing a little bit of everything out there.
Perry Jones, III – 4 minutes, 2 points, 2 assists – B
Jones had a really nasty dunk on the fast break in the final minutes. Can’t wait until he’s getting more run.
Eric Maynor – 4 minutes, 0 points, 2 assists – B
Of course Maynor somehow ends up with more assists than Jackson in a fourth of the playing time.