In another super efficient performance, Kevin Durant scored 30 points on just 15 field goal attempts as he lead the Oklahoma City Thunder to a home court victory against the Sacramento Kings 108 – 93.
On a night where Sacramento’s Isaiah Thomas showed why he should be the front runner for the Most Improved Player award, it was the all around brilliance from Kevin Durant that enabled the Thunder to get the win at Chesapeake Arena in what was an exciting contest for the most part.
Sacramento can out of the gate quickly and showed the Thunder they meant business. Isaiah Thomas was aggressive from the opening tip and had Reggie Jackson on skates trying to keep him out of the lane and run him off the three point line. The battle inside between the Thunder bigs of Perkins and Ibaka against DeMarcus Cousins was entertaining as well, as both frontcourts wrestled for the ascendency. Durant was his usual self with an early 10 points to go along with 2 rebounds and 2 assists, but the Thunder trailed the Kings early.
The second term brought more of the same with both teams trading baskets and unable to gain any sort of break or momentum. The Thunder finally pulled away towards the half with a 12-4 run highlighted by a steal and alley oop from Kevin Durant to Serge Ibaka. Derek Fisher played some solid second term minutes with solid passing and slipping backdoor for an open layup, but them fouled Thomas on a three point shot just before half time. Kendrick Perkins had a half court three pointer rim out as the half time buzzer sounded which had the crowd on their feet.
DeMarcus Cousins came out in the second term and tried to get something going. The game was tied at 60 but from there the Thunder slowly started to pull away. Isaiah Thomas slowed down and the Thunder were able to get good looks and convert them. An 8-0 run was the turning point and even after a few timeouts from the Kings, the Thunder held a double digit lead.
The final term was business as usual for the Thunder as they closed out the game at home. Kings small forward Rudy Gay received two technical fouls and was ejected, but he had little impact on proceedings anyway. Durant added 6 rebounds, 9 assists, 4 steals and 2 blocks in one of his best overall games of the season. Serge Ibaka provided solid support with another 20 point outing and Reggie Jackson chipped in 16 of his own. In all the Thunder had 6 players in double figures (Durant, Ibaka, Jackson, Sefolosha, Collison and Lamb).
Sacramento now fall to 1-3 on their 6 game road trip while the Thunder have won 3 in a row and are now 8-5 since Westbrook exited the lineup. The Thunder now turn their focus to a tough matchup against the Portland Trailblazers where they will be looking for revenge for the 111-104 loss back in early December.