Posted November 03, 2012 on
AP on Fox
Oklahoma City Thunder
Portland Trail Blazers
While the most recent addition to the Oklahoma City Thunder likely won't hinder the team's chemistry, it might take some time for the Atlanta Hawks and their new faces to come together.
The Thunder look to build on their first win when they host the Hawks on Sunday night.
Russell Westbrook scored 32, Kevin Durant had 23 points with 17 rebounds and veteran newcomer Kevin Martin added 19 as Oklahoma City (1-1) rebounded from a season-opening loss at San Antonio with a 106-92 home win over Portland on Friday.
Martin's performance followed a 15-point effort against the Spurs in his Thunder debut after they acquired him from Houston in a trade for NBA Sixth Man of Year James Harden last weekend. Martin is expected to fill Harden's role as leader of Oklahoma City's second unit. Reserve forward Nick Collison added 12 points as the Thunder reserves outscored the Trail Blazers' bench 42-15.
"You have to have a punch coming off the bench," said Martin, who averaged 17.1 points while limited to 40 games due to shoulder and foot problems with the Rockets last season. "I think that's one of our biggest strengths right now. "We've just got to keep on jelling as a group and help the first unit when they need a little rest.''
As a collective group, the Thunder shot 51.3 percent and outscored the Blazers 44-24 in the paint. They held Portland to 36.0 percent shooting.
"When you talk about chemistry with our group, you haven't been around our group,'' Thunder coach Scott Brooks said. "James (Harden) was a good player but it wasn't Dr. James. He wasn't helping the group stick together. All the guys do that.''
Durant and Westbrook remain the backbone of the reigning Western Conference champions, totaling 96 points, 44 rebounds and 23 assists through two games. Durant has averaged 31.2 points in his last six games versus Atlanta and Westbrook 25.3 in the last three against the Hawks.
Durant scored 35 and Westbrook added 25, but Oklahoma City's four-game winning streak versus Atlanta ended with a 97-90 road loss March 3. The Thunder will try for a third straight home win over the Hawks, who look to bounce back after a 109-102 season-opening defeat to the Rockets on Friday.
Lou Williams scored 22 points in his Atlanta debut while Josh Smith added 18 with 10 rebounds as the Hawks began a new era without six-time All-Star Joe Johnson, who was traded to Brooklyn in July. While Smith and Al Horford remain in the fold, newcomers like Williams, Devin Harris, Kyle Korver and DeShawn Stevenson will try to quickly mesh together in their new surroundings.
"We're still trying to establish an identity,'' said Hawks coach Larry Drew, who watched as Harden lit up the Hawks for 45 points. "That may take a little time to do.''
Williams averaged a career-high 14.9 points with Philadelphia last season when he was runner-up to Harden for the Sixth Man award. Smith also is off to a good start after he set career highs while averaging 18.8 points and 9.6 boards last season.
Smith had 30 and 12 rebounds against Oklahoma City in March.
BEST OF MAXIM
AROUND THE WEB
Oklahoma City forward Kevin Durant had a double-double by halftime while combining for 55 points points with Russell Westbrook to lead 106-92 win over the Portland Trailblazers.
Durant finished the night with 23 points, 17 rebounds, seven assists and two blocks.
Durant's extra work in the summer on improving his rebounding has helped. In his first two games he's grabbed...
Filling the shoes of James Harden in Oklahoma City is no easy task. However, through two games, Kevin Martin has proved that he’s up to the challenge.
The biggest concern for the Thunder coming into the first week of the season was how long it would take Martin to mesh with his new team and his [...]
OKLAHOMA CITY James Harden went off again.
Somehow, I get the feeling people around these parts are going to be talking about Harden this season.
Forget the first-guessing, that's too difficult. It's all second-guessing now. It's a full-blown case of, "Should they or shouldn't they have traded Harden," and it's infected everyone...
According to a report, former Oklahoma City Thunder star (now Houston Rockets star) James Harden was traded from O.K.C. because of something he did with a teammates girlfriend in Los Angeles.The source says that Harden caught up with R&B singer Keri Hilson last week, at a Los Angeles nightclub. The source claims that one of the Oklahoma City Thunder executives took a photo of...
OKLAHOMA CITY Scott Brooks tinkered with the rotation again and watched as his team slogged through a Sunday night against an Atlanta bunch stocked with new players but not with talent.
Brooks said before the game Sunday, it wasn't really about scouting reports and schemes, basically suggesting, "It's us, not them."
Looks like there's a lot of truth to what...
In the preseason, people were asking me if they should take Serge Ibaka in the third round or the fourth round, as if those were the only two options. Sure, he’s great with the blockin’ and all, but I do not consider him a well rounded Center. Last night’s game is about what I expected, although with more rebounds and less blocks: 4 points, 9 rebounds, 2 blocks. His value...
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) -- Russell Westbrook scored 32 points, Kevin Durant had 23 points and 17 rebounds and the Oklahoma City Thunder beat the Portland Trail Blazers 106-92 on Friday night to win their fourth straight home opener.
Kevin Martin, taking over James Harden's role as the top-scoring bench player, added 19 points as Oklahoma City pulled away in the fourth quarter. Martin...
Russell Westbrook scored 32 points, Kevin Durant had 23 points and 17 rebounds and the Oklahoma City Thunder beat the Portland Trail Blazers 106-92 on Friday night to win their fourth straight home opener.
Kevin Martin, taking over James Harden's role as the top-scoring bench player, added 19 points as Oklahoma City pulled away in the fourth quarter. Martin hit a 3-pointer and...
As Thunder GM Sam Presti was watching his former sixth man run circles around the Pistons, I suspect he had a moment of recoil. At least he should have.
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) -- Al Horford had 23 points and 12 rebounds, Lou Williams added 10 of his 19 points during Atlanta's decisive fourth-quarter surge and the Hawks beat the Oklahoma City Thunder 104-95 on Sunday night.
Williams hit a 3-pointer, a 24-foot jumper and converted a three-point play off a driving scoop in the lane during a 12-4 push midway through the fourth quarter...
Not a bad way to tie the Spurs going into the fourth quarter. Unfortunately for Eric Maynor and the Thunder, Spurs point guard Tony Parker had a buzzer-beater of his own to end the game, and give the Spurs an 86-84 victory. Still, awesome shot.
Get the latest Thigh updates by following us on Facebook & Twitter.
Portland iced in loss
The Headline: Despite doing everything else right the Blazers can’t make their shots, landing their first loss of the season.
Portland Trail Blazers 92, Oklahoma City Thunder 106
When: 8:00 ET, Friday, November 2, 2012
Where: Chesapeake Energy Arena (Oklahoma City)
Officials: James Capers, John Goble, Pat Fraher
1. Wes alive...
I think we all saw what happened last night. The Spurs defeated the Oklahoma City Thunder on a game winning shot by Tony Parker. Game over. Everybody on Oklahoma City played terribly and Scott Brooks drew up one of the worst final plays I’ve ever seen. Everybody just kind of stood around and waited for [...]