Thunder Lose Finale 106-101 to the Nuggets

Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook combined for 62 points, but it wasn’t enough for the streaking Nuggets. The Nuggets outscored the Thunder 11-6 down the final stretch of the game, and stole a win in Chesapeake Energy Arena 106-101. Oklahoma City finishes the regular season 47-19 on the season, 26-7 at home.

The first quarter looked a lot like last night’s game against Sacramento, in where Oklahoma City allowed a lot of points in the quarter, trailing 36-30 after the first quarter. Durant really led the charge in the first quarter, scoring 10 points, including two three-point makes in the quarter.

The Nuggets weren’t nearly as effected in the second quarter, but they were still just good enough to hold off the Thunder. Every time Oklahoma City would get within a point or so, the Nuggets would find a way to put a little distance between them. Durant put in another 10 points in the quarter, but it wasn’t just enough to take a lead into halftime, as Oklahoma City trailed 64-58

The Thunder had a really explosive third quarter, as everyone was involved, Westbrook was hitting shots. Ibaka was blocking them. The Thunder pulled into a two point lead going into the fourth quarter at 82-80.

The Nuggets just seemed to want it a little more, especially with seeding on the line. The Nuggets led by six points numerous times throughout the quarter. However, Oklahoma City tied it up at 95, but the Nuggets were able to put the game away. It was capped off by a Derek Fisher missed three-point shot with :05 seconds remaining.

Post Game Grades

Play Defense: B-
The Thunder gave up 104 points, but defense was decent. It was really letting the Nuggets into the fast break that hurt the Thunder.  Nuggets outscored OKC 21-16 in fast break points.

Rebound: F
One of the top paint teams in the league dominated it again tonight. the Nuggets pulled down 17 offensive rebounds, and 42 overall. That accounted for 54-36 advantage points in the paint.  The offensive rebounds allowed 21 second chance points for the Nuggets

Westbrook: A
Honestly, just wanted to get Westbrook some confidence and sure up his jumper. That’s exactly what happened tonight. Westbrook finished with 30 points, 9 assists and just 2 turnovers. Both turnovers came in the fourth quarter. One was an offensive foul.

Thunder Thoughts

  • You have to really discount this as a win for the Nuggets, remember Harden wasn’t in this game. Oklahoma City really missed his scoring tonight. The Nuggets outscored the Thunder bench 30-20.
  • Kevin Durant scored 32 points. That means he finished the season averaging 28.03 Points per game. Kobe Bryant is averaging 27.86 PPG. Bryant needs to score 38 points to beat Durant for the NBA Scoring Leader.
  • Oh, Lebron James would have to score 83 points to overtake Durant.
  • The only players to win at least three straight scoring titles are George Mikan, Neil Johnston, Wilt Chamberlain, Bob McAdoo, George Gervin, and Michael Jordan. Chamberlain and Jordan are the only ones to have more than three in a row, with both winning seven consecutive titles.
  • Oklahoma City really didn’t bother much with defense. Yeah, Nuggets shot poorly, but ran wild. Oklahoma City might have been lazy and was just basically playing a pick up game.
  • Harden was cleared for the playoffs. They held him out for precautionary measures tonight.
  • The Thunder committed 18 turnovers, accounted for 22 Nugget points.
  • The Nuggets took 11 extra shots than the Thunder. They made one extra shot, and got to the line 15 more times than the Thunder.
  • Westbrook matched Serge Ibaka with 4 block shots. It’s a career high for Westbrook in blocks. His previous high was 3 blocks against the Lakers November 11, 2009.
  • Westbrook played his 312 straight game. The NBA’s most active currently.
  • The Thunder unveiled their Northwest Division championship banner before the game, waiting until a divisional opponent played at Chesapeake Energy Arena to do it. Oklahoma City clinched its second straight division title on April 8.
  • Durant said he was proud of achieving his preseason goal of playing in all 66 games. It’s the second time in his five-year NBA career that he played every game.
  • I don’t really have a lot of notes tonight. It’s the final game. Some season notes real quick. We’ll find out who the Thunder are playing tomorrow night, and what time most likely.  Sources within the Thunder are saying Saturday night at 7pm. I wouldn’t place any bets on that time though.

Next up: 2012 NBA Playoffs!

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