The Denver Nuggets won their 13th game in a row last night defeating the Oklahoma City Thunder 114-104 at Chesapeake Energy Arena.
The Nuggets have really been on a roll lately and looked great last night. They killed the Thunder in the paint scoring 72 points there for the game, which was nearly their season-high.
The Thunder led 34-26 after the first quarter then Denver really got going in the second outscoring OKC 39-32. The Nuggets then led by seven after the third quarter.
The Thunder couldn’t make the plays down the stretch to come back as cold outside shooting was a big reason why. OKC made just 4-of-25 threes for the game.
Here are the Game Grades:
Kevin Durant – 43 minutes, 34 points, 7 rebounds, 5 assists – B
Durant played a lot of minutes so scoring 34 was not difficult for him. He really struggled with his shot again going 0-for-6 from behind the three-point line. He also turned it over six times. Durant seemed more intent on penetrating than usual last night and perhaps that was because his jumper wasn’t going down as much as usual. This was not his best performance.
Russell Westbrook – 37 minutes, 25 points, 6 assists, 4 rebounds – B+
Westbrook played efficiently and the Thunder still lost. That rarely happens. He was 10-for-21 from the field but 0-for-4 from downtown. He only turned the ball over once and was again under control for the most part on his drives. He got off to a great start then kind of cooled down for the rest of the game.
Serge Ibaka – 24 minutes, 6 points, 2 rebounds, 3 blocks – D
The Thunder simply needed more from Ibaka last night. He only played half the game but that was because he wasn’t able to get back on defense or get any defensive rebounds. There’s no excuse for Ibaka to get outplayed the way he did last night.
Kevin Martin – 23 minutes, 14 points, 5 rebounds, 3 assists – B
Martin has been playing better lately but his minutes have still been going down. He scored efficiently making 2-of-4 threes and 4-of-7 field goals overall. He even made plays for others with three assists. Scott Brooks has been consistently going with Thabo Sefolosha to close games out over Martin lately.
Kendrick Perkins – 23 minutes, 4 points, 11 rebounds, 1 block – B
Perkins did his job last night so you can’t really blame him for the loss. He got a bunch of rebounds and wasn’t a liability on offense either.
Thabo Sefolosha – 28 minutes, 8 points, 6 rebounds, 2 assists – B
You can’t blame Thabo for getting the nod over Martin down the stretch and he’s played pretty well this season too. But last night the Thunder were simply better with Martin on the floor instead of Sefolosha. Sefolosha made a pair of threes in the game but both came in the fourth quarter and he was quiet offensively after.
Nick Collison – 26 minutes, 5 points, 4 rebounds, 3 assists – B+
Collison got a lot of minutes instead of Ibaka because he could do a better job of getting back on defense. Collison was very good while he was out there but he simply cannot be the same scoring threat that Ibaka can be at times.
Reggie Jackson – 19 minutes, 8 points, 6 rebounds, 1 assist – B
Jackson was kind of like a two-guard for most of his minutes last night. He had a couple of nice dunks and one missed dunk that would have been really nice. He went 0-for-4 from three but some of those were garbage attempts. Brooks had him out there instead of Martin for his defense as the Thunder tried to come back late (doesn’t make perfect sense). He also blocked two shots.
Derek Fisher – 11 minutes, 0 points, 2 steals – D
Fisher was a waste last night. He went 0-for-4 from the field with three of those attempts being threes. He also turned the ball over twice and had no assists. The Thunder were outscored by seven while he was out there but OKC outscored Denver by seven in Martin’s 23 minutes. Basically, Fisher was awful.
Ronnie Brewer – 5 minutes, 0 points – C
Brewer played very little early in the game as the Thunder went small to match the Nuggets. He was essentially playing power forward and couldn’t find any rhythm while he was out there.