Oklahoma City Thunder: Bench makes a big difference
To start the second quarter Tuesday night against the Lakers, Scotty Brooks went with his latest version of the B Team: Kevin Martin, Nick Collison, Reggie Jackson, Derek Fisher and Ronnie Brewer. Notably, the Lakers sported a lineup that included Dwight Howard and Kobe Bryant.
The Thunder B team played for almost five minutes — 4:51 — and when Kevin Durant and Kendrick Perkins returned, to be joined 30 seconds later by Russell Westbrook and Serge Ibaka — the Thunder lead had grown from 37-28 to 51-36. That’s a 14-8 edge. Martin hit two foul shots, Collison sank a jumper, Jackson scored on a fast break, Martin swished a 3-pointer, Collison laid in a basket off a Martin assist and finally Fisher nailed a 3-pointer. Meanwhile, the Lakers made just three of nine shots, with one turnover.
Later in the quarter, when fouls mounted, Brooks turned to Hasheem Thabeet, and the NBA’s tallest player produced more than five minutes of quality play — a basket, an assist and two offensive rebounds.
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