Final Score: Thunder 102, Kings 87
Points: Durant with 24, Tyreke Evans with 22
Rebounds: Cousins with 16, Ibaka with 10
Assists: Westbrook with 6, Evans with 6
A 15 point win classifies as a good win, right? Right?
Let’s not deceive ourselves; tonight’s win against the hapless Sacramento Kings was nothing to write home about (let alone on a blog). The majority of the game was spent with the Thunder up in that six to eight point range, never really doing enough to pull much further ahead, and the Kings always obliging by not caring whether they took the opportunities given. A team is bound to have games like this, where everyone is listless and off, playing as if they knew that 75% effort was enough to send the Kings packing. And well, they were right.
Fortunately for the Thunder it was only the offensive patience that was lacking tonight. Because while the offense was mediocre-bad most of the time, the defense once again showed up and played well. The Thunder gave up 46 in the 1st half, 42 in the 2nd. The defense kept the Kings from really amounting anything resembling a comeback, so by the time we reached the 4th quarter the Kings were thoroughly frustrated and could only muster weak outside shots for most of the 2nd half.
On the whole, the Thunder offense did have some things of note, but you are forgiven if you snoozed through most of it:
- 56 points in the paint
- 23 assists on 39 baskets
- Once again Westbrook paced the offense with six, and three other Thunder players had five
- 48.1% shooting; not lights-out, but not terrible
- 14 offensive boards
The only glaring thing that was tough to choke down, despite the offensive malaise, was the 16 boards (five offensive) that the Thunder gave up to DeMarcus Cousins. He was active on the glass, which helped the King stay in the game longer than they should have.
If you’re as bored reading this rehash as I am writing it, then let’s just put this one to bed, move on, and gear up for the Suns on Sunday night, which should be much more interesting by a factor of 4.5, regardless of whether Steve Nash plays.
Next Game: Phoenix Suns, Sunday, December 19 at 7:00PM EST