Thunder 89, Sixers 74
Observations, news and notes from Sunday’s game……….
* The Thunder’s defense has been the key to its four wins in five games. Tonight’s Sixers total was an opponent low for the season.
* The Thunder’s opponents scoring totals in the past four wins — 74, 83, 87, 92.
* Opponents’ field-goal percentages in the Thunder’s past four wins — 39.4, 40, 42.5, 47.9.
* Balanced scoring has also helped make up for the loss of Kevin Durant and Jeff Green. Six guys in double-digit scoring tonight.
* Nick Collison has been playing up to last year’s production, helping the Thunder control the glass and giving OKC second-chance scoring opportunities. He had 12 points and 11 rebounds tonight.
* When Nenad Krstic is on, he’s on. And when he’s off, he’s really off. Tonight was a good bounce-back effort for the 7-footer — 20- points on 10 of 13 shooting to go with eight rebounds.
* Malik Rose might have been a good pick up after all, not just another veteran locker room presence. He’s really helped out an injury-ravaged squad and has been extremely effective in limited minutes, contributing on both ends and playing with good energy.
* I’m no doctor, but it seems you have to be pretty tough to miss only one game with a sprained MCL. That’s what Thabo Sefolosha did and was surprisingly effective defensively on Andre Iguodala. I thought Sefolosha would test it out to start the game but shut it down after the first quarter or definitely by the half.
* Thunder coach Scott Brooks, who hasn’t relied much on his bench since he took over, did a good job balancing the minutes in this back-to-back situation. Funny how Sefolosha played a team-high 38 tonight despite coming off the injury.
* Earl Watson said after the game that part of the balanced scoring is due to the Thunder having a better bench than people think.
* Watson also said his thumb injury likely will not fully heal until July.
* In other injury-related news, Jeff Green (sore back) is starting to look better and he could be upgraded to probable for Tuesday’s game at Sacramento. He was joking around and horse-playing with teammates before tonight’s game, showing no signs of having an injured back. My guess is he returns to the lineup against the Kings.
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