Found November 07, 2012 on
Fox Sports Southwest:
Oklahoma City Thunder
OKLAHOMA CITY Sometimes a home loss against an inferior team can be the kind of jump-start a team needs to get going again.
And sometimes Toronto comes to town.
Both happened for Oklahoma City.
After losing to Atlanta on Sunday in a listless, surprising and error-filled game by the Thunder, slump-busting Raptors showed up at Chesapeake Energy Arena and made it a game right up until tipoff. After that, it was over, but not official until the end of the fourth quarter, 108-88 Thunder.
Oklahoma was one of the first states called for Mitt Romney Tuesday night, but the win over Toronto was even more predictable. The Thunder came into the game 1-2 and played so poorly against the Hawks there was no chance for Oklahoma City to do anything but improve against the Raptors.
"It's always good to get a win," Thunder coach Scott Brooks said. "Even if you win by a big margin, it's not easy. We did that tonight. We had a tough loss, but we're not going to put our head down. If we have a good win, we're not going to pump our chest."
Probably not a game that would be considered celebration worthy, but the Thunder can take a bit of pride in the fact they played defense Tuesday when it sure looked like it was optional Sunday.
After the Hawks went off for 49 percent shooting with a team of reserves and without Josh Smith, the Thunder held Toronto to 35.7 percent from the field.
"The start was a big part of the win tonight," said Brooks of the Thunder getting out to a 30-17 first-quarter lead. "We talked about starting the game with a defensive mindset and we did that in the first quarter. We played solid basketball.I thought all around it was a good win for us."
It's too early to project the Thunder should panic, however it was a 1-2 first week where there's plenty of room for concern from player rotation to defense and turnovers yet OKC showed it can beat teams like Toronto when it plays good defense, even if Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook have a less-than-impressive night.
"With our group when we play the defense we play, it's great basketball," Brooks said.
Toronto isn't the barometer for whether teams play good or whether they play bad as evidenced by Durant and Westbrook combining to shoot 9-for-22 from the field and no one even really noticing.
"There were ready to play and we weren't," Toronto coach Dwane Casey said. "Bottom line is, I didn't recognize our team tonight. We didn't come out with the approach that we normally do. We have to come out and compete. We didn't do that and that's what we've been talking about."
The Thunder led by 13 at the end of one quarter, but 19 at half and by 22 at the end of three quarters. That was enough for the Thunder starters to get the rest of night off and enough to spin the season forward.
"We started the game with the right intensity," Durant said. "With a lot of energy. Everyone down the line was good tonight. That's what we need to get better."
Down the line means big minutes and production from Hasheem Thabeet who played 22 minutes and scored 10 points. Thabo Sefolosha had his best game of the season, making three-of-five 3-pointers and scoring 11 points and Kevin Martin scored 15 points, making it four games in a row he's gotten to double figures.
Maybe it was Toronto coming in and possibly it had something to do with its point guard Kyle Lowry going out, as he was lost for the game with an ankle injury right before halftime. Perhaps it was Atlanta stealing a win Sunday. The combination seemed to be the right fit for the Thunder to play well Tuesday.
"It was a good lesson," said Durant. "We have to come out with energy. That game is behind us. This game is behind us. We have to get ready for the next one."
Figure Durant, who hasn't had a huge game this season, is due for a highlight performance. Westbrook has been good once, but not great for three games. However, also figure when the Thunder plays defense, they'll win.
"We moved," Brooks said. "We were all over the floor."
BEST OF MAXIM
Every night I usually tune into NBA TV Gametime to keep updated on my NBA scores and highlights. After an impressive win over the Toronto Raptors last night, Oklahoma City Thunder superstar, Kevin Durant spoke to NBA analysts via satellite on the shows interview segment, Arena Link wearing a $100 Play Comme des Garcons t-shirt.
Play Comme des Garcons and their signature heart...
Kevin Durant scored eight of his 24 points in the fourth quarter and the Oklahoma City Thunder beat the Chicago Bulls 97-91 on Thursday night.
Durant iced the game with an off-balance jumper off one foot with 35.1 seconds to play.
Serge Ibaka scored 15 of his 21 points in the first half, and had a team-high nine rebounds for the Thunder, who beat the Bulls for the third time in...
CHICAGO (AP) -- Kevin Durant scored eight of his 24 points in the fourth quarter and the Oklahoma City Thunder beat the Chicago Bulls 97-91 on Thursday night.
Durant iced the game with an off-balance jumper off one foot with 35.1 seconds to play.
Serge Ibaka scored 15 of his 21 points in the first half, and had a team-high nine rebounds for the Thunder, who beat the Bulls for the...
Only a few days removed from finding himself in the path of an angry Jeff Teague, Kevin Durant — last season’s playoff poster champ — is on the board! While most of us were busy tracking the presidential election on Tuesday night, Durant was hard at work in Oklahoma City, where he aimed to bring his Thunder back to .500. In doing so, KD issued a formal NBA welcome to Raptors...
While most of you were probably keeping tabs on the United States presidential race, Oklahoma City Thunder guard Kevin Durant was busy dunking on people.
Check out this poster that he put on Raptors center Jonas Valanciunas:
(Courtesy of Los That Sports Blog)
We at Cosby Sweaters are still searching for a good term to replace “posterize,” and for this gem we have chosen to go with baptismal. Kevin Durant took absolutely no mercy on election night when he dunked all over rookie Jonas Valanciunas. The Thunder dominated the Toronto Raptors 108-88 and there is no word if Jonas will return to the NBA following that embarrassment.
Usually Oklahoma City Thunder star Kevin Durant is use to dunking on people, while last night he got dunked on. Doing the damage was Atlanta Hawks guard Jeff Teague. In the Hawks win over the Thunder Teague drove right down the lane and threw down a monster jam over Durant.
Follow me on twitter @ScottBasketball http://twitter.com/#!/ScottBasketballAlso like the Roundballchat...
The last dunk we showed you on here was a posterizing slam from the Hawks' Jeff Teague over Thunder superstar Kevin Durant. And on Tuesday night against the Raptors, Durant was on the other end of such a play, as he usually is.
Watch Durant dunk all over Toronto rookie seven-footer Jonas Valanciunas in a 108-88 Oklahoma City victory:
Thigh Five: Los That Sports Blog...
CHICAGO -- Kevin Durant scored 24 points, including six in the final minute, as the Oklahoma City Thunder made a late surge to beat the Chicago Bulls 97-91 Thursday at the United Center. The Bulls rose to the occasion most of the night without All-Star guard Derrick Rose, who is recovering from knee surgery. Veteran guards Kirk Hinrich and Richard Hamilton seemed inspired by the...
OKLAHOMA CITY - Somewhere lost along the way of the James Harden talk and the chemistry and temperature of the Thunder, there are some real issues that need to be addressed.
Like when is this team going to start holding onto the ball?
But maybe it doesn't even matter.
Twenty turnovers against Atlanta, 17 against Toronto and a ridiculous average of more than 17 per game so...
Pictured above are Nick Collison, Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook, and Serge Ibaka. What they’re wearing is Oklahoma City’s new, different, and completely unexciting navy blue alternate uniform. The uniform looks like something an unartistic child would design with MS Paint, and will make its unfortunate debut on Friday night.
The Thunder are just the latest of many teams...
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) -- Russell Westbrook shrugged off a sore shoulder to score 19 points and the Oklahoma City Thunder cruised past the Toronto Raptors 108-88 on Tuesday night.
Wearing a black padded sleeve to protect his bruised left shoulder, Westbrook held Toronto's leading scorer, Kyle Lowry, to two points on 1-of-4 shooting. Lowry exited with 1:29 left in the second quarter...
In Tuesday night hoops action, the OKC Thunder faced off against the Toronto Raptors. The Thunder made slight work of the Raptors knocking them off 108-88. But Kevin Durant wanted to remind fans that while his jumper is wet, he can still get up over guys and make them poster fodder. Welcome to the [...]