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KD Banks in the Win.

AP Photo/Paul Sakuma

This was a back and forth game. Thunder had as much as a 10 point lead, and the Warriors had as much as a 12 point lead. However, it was Kevin Durant’s shot off the glass with 14.2 seconds left that gave Oklahoma City a 117-116 lead. Oklahoma City’s defense helped shut down the ensuing possession as Monta Ellis back rimmed a three-point attempt. Oklahoma City held on for the 119-116 victory.

The win pushed the Thunder to an already league best record at 20-5 on the season. The Warriors dropped to 8-14.

The first quarter was controlled by Ellis who came out on fire. He scored 18 first quarter points for the Warriors. The first quarter was capped off with a Durant three from the top of the arc at the buzzer to make it 35-29 after the first quarter.

Oklahoma City then used a 21-5 run over the next 7:22 of the ball game to turn a 26-35 deficit into a 47-40 lead. Oklahoma City would get their first double digit lead at 52-42 with 5:15 until half time. The Warriors would go on a decent 7-0 run to end the half at 59-56, a slim Thunder advantage.

The third quarter was contolled by the hot shooting of the Warriors for 9:01. Warriors had the lead at 12 points mulitple times, lastly at 86-74 with 9:01 left. OKC closed on a 17-5 run cutting it to 93-91 after three quarters.

The fourth quarter was a back and fourth show on the back half with Oklahoma City trailing late. OKC trailed 109-105 late in the quarter when Daequan Cook hit a huge three from the corner! That cut it to 112-111 with 3:40 to go. Westbrook hit a shot, cutting it to 114-113.

However, Durant would score four consecutive points. Taking the Thunder into the lead ans back on a two game win streak.

“These shot opportunities are the kind you dream about as a kid getting to take them on the biggest stage,” Durant said “it felt Great.”

Post Game Grades

Three-point defense: D
Well, the warriors shot 42% from deep. It really put the Thunder behind the eight ball in the third quarter with Brandon Rush hitting three after three. Only reason this wasn’t an F, is their defense in the fourth, including the final two Warrior possessions.

Transition Game: C
They received a C because they did get caught up in the three-point shooting that the Warriors love getting teams into. They kept up by hitting 11 threes. They limited the Warriors to just 11 fast break points.

James Harden: B+
James Harden was the Beard that we all came to know and love. He had 19 points 7 assists on 6-13 shooting. Including 3-8 from behind the arc. He was very instrumental and keeping OKC in the ball game.

Some afterthoughts

  • Kevin Durant was just insane in the fourth quarter. That’s what great players do, they take over late in the game.
  • Durant grabbed his sixth double-double in seven games. The rebounding of Durant has just taken over.
  • More on Durant: He was 5-14 shooting at one point. He finished 8-13 down the stretch. Including 5-6 from the line.
  • Russell Westbrook was in full honey badger mode. 31 points, 7 assists and 7 turnovers, 2 steals.
  • Daequan Cook was great tonight offensively. 17 points on 5-6 from deep.
  • 26 three-point attempts for OKC. This NOT okay. This is not Thunder basketball.
  • Great resiliency by the Thunder. Got down 12 points. Warriors were hot. They could’ve crumbled. They didn’t. They came back like great teams do.
  • OKC honestly had been struggling from the free throw line this season. They went 20-21 from the line tonight. Durant had the only miss.
  • David Lee had a triple double tonight. While, that’s not good. The defense on him in the fourth quarter was impressive. He was just 2-9 in the fourth quarter.
  • For the second straight night OKC allowed a 40 point scorer. Also for the second straight night, OKC won. Monta Ellis finished with 48 points.

Next up: at Sacramento.

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