The Oklahoma City Thunder (34-10) started the game out really sluggish. They trailed the Sacramento Kings (16-28) by 14 points early in the first quarter, but the Thunder finished big! Thunder cruise to the 105-95 win over the Kings. Russell Westbrook was our Player of the Game with 14 points, 18 assists. Kevin Durant dropped 24 points, 11 rebounds. Kevin Martin was also awesome in his return to Sacramento, dropping 24 points.
The start of the game wasn’t the prettiest thing Oklahoma City has put out this season. However, by the end of the quarter, it would be a ball game again though. Sacramento jumped out to the 11-3 lead before Oklahoma City would try and score. The Kings then pushed the lead out to 16-5 with 6:55 left in the first quarter. The Kings extended the lead to 23-9 before some how the Thunder woke up. Oklahoma City closed out the quarter with an 18-7 run. Russell Westbrook’s jumper at the buzzer capped off the Thunder run.
Earlier in the second quarter, the Thunder and Kings traded baskets to start the quarter. Then Durant and Martin tried to will the Thunder back into the Lead. There were four tie games, and three lead changes, in the second quarter alone. Toward the end of the quarter, Oklahoma City tried to pull away from the Kings and create some space, and they did just that. An 8-3 mini-burst helped the Thunder roll into halftime with the 58-51 lead.
Something clicked in the third quarter. Oklahoma City found a way to run away with this game with this quarter. Westbrook tied an Oklahoma City Thunder franchise record with eight assists in the quarter. Thabo Sefolosha dropped eight points in the quarter for the good guys. Oklahoma City watched their lead balloon from seven at halftime to as much as 25 points in the quarter. Martin hit an 18-foot jump shot to give the Thunder their largest lead at 86-61 with 1:44 left in the quarter.
The Kings tried to make that fourth quarter run like they did back in Oklahoma City earlier in the year. However, even after a 10-0 run to start the quarter, the Thunder found themselves a way to stop the run. Reggie Jackson was instrumental in limiting the Kings down the stretch. Yes, the Kings found themselves down just 10 when the buzzer sounded. The final score no where indicative on how the game was actually played.
Keys to the Game
Offensive Rebounds: A+
Oklahoma City limited the Kings to eight offensive rebounds and just eight second chance points. That’s saying something for the Thunder. Especially going up against DeMarcus Cousins, a pretty solid low post scorer. The Thunder showed why they are one of the best teams on the glass, and they dominated. They get the A due the fact that the Kings grabbed six of their eight rebounds in the fourth quarter when the game was out of question.
Points in the Paint Defense: C+
Oklahoma City gave up 48 points in the paint. A handful of them were in the fourth quarter when the game was already decided. That’s why they have the grade they have. Oklahoma City, as said in the first key, did very solid defensively tonight. Not a lot of complaints.
Thunder Money Ball: D
Oklahoma City shot poorly from three-point range tonight. They were 6-for-23, 25.1 percent. Kevin Martin was the only one who hit more than one shot from deep. He accounted for four of the shots. Westbrook and Durant had the other two. Must shoot better though going forward.