The Oklahoma City Thunder lead from start to finish against the New Orleans Hornets tonight. Thunder lead by as many as 45 points tonight, as the Thunder won 119-74. Oklahoma City, for the victory was the second straight victory of 30 points or more.
It also marked the first back-to-back blowouts by at least 30 points by the Thunder franchise since 1994.
Oklahoma City jumped out on the Hornets quickly, grabbing the 6-0 lead before New Orleans answered with a 6-0 run of their own. It was the Serge Ibaka and Russell Westbrook show in the first quarter. Both players literally outscored the Hornets by themselves in the first quarter, 26-21.
The real story of this game was Kevin Durant. He grabbed his third career triple-double with 18 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists. He was a man on a mission, and boy did he ever complete it. What makes this even more special is that he did with four minutes left in the third quarter. Now that’s dominating. Durant actually had his second triple-double in four games.
Oklahoma City led by as many as 10 early in the second quarter, but the Hornets, led by Roger Mason, kept hitting the deep ball, and that was giving New Orleans a small chance of hope. That’s when Oklahoma City decided to close the game out.
New Orleans closed the gab to 48-43 with 4:04 left in the second quarter, Oklahoma City went on a 17-4 run to end the quarter. Kevin Martin and Durant traded three-pointers, and Ibaka pounded the glass. Ibaka was also a huge impact on the defensive end, especially during this run. He blocked three consecutive shots during this run.
Oklahoma City had four players in double figures… before halftime.
Quickly, the lead ballooned to over 20 points, and then over 30 in the third quarter. Oklahoma City had an answer for every single Hornet possession. Stifling defense, and aggressive offense. Oklahoma City limited the Hornets to just 15 points in the third quarter, outscoring them 34-15 in the frame.
With Derek Fisher and Ronnie Brewer making their debuts tonight, both played the entire fourth quarter. Fisher finished 0-of-4 from the floor. He was being a real facilitator though. He was able to find the open man, and help push the lead to as much as it was at the end of the game.
Brewer, in his first game tonight, really showed defensive hustle. Thunder fans received a nice look at a player who could be come a pivotal run towards an NBA Championship.
Reggie Jackson was a scorer in the fourth quarter, and throughout the second half. Jackson dropped a career high, including a couple of shot clock expiring three-pointers. Jackson really showed why he deserves the second point guard position over Fisher tonight.
Keys to the Game
Score Points: A+
Oklahoma City did their best impression of the highest scoring team in the league tonight. Oklahoma City dropped 119 points in a game where they led by as many as 45 points. I honestly don’t know if you could’ve asked for a better offensive performance tonight. You can try, but i don’t know if you can.
Fast Break Points: B
The Thunder lost the overall battle, but really just kept the Hornets on their toes tonight. They ran religiously, and forced the Hornets to play their game and tempo. That’s what you want to do all night. Hats off to Scotty Brook’s game plan.
Close the Quarters: A+
Tonight, the Thunder did a great job in all four quarters putting their stamp on the quarters. It’s rare to see this team do it for four quarters, let alone more than two. It was refreshing for once. We’ll need it a lot more coming up.
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