By Anthony Slater – Aslater@opubco.com - @anthonyVslater
Oklahoma City torched the Bobcats 116-94 in Charlotte on Friday. Here’s some rapid reaction:
Through 12 minutes, the Bobcats were in it, actually leading 29-28 at the end of the first quarter. And if nothing else, that’s at least a moral victory for Charlotte, considering the ‘game’ these two played in OKC earlier this month. But it didn’t last long. And no one expected it to. The Thunder opened the second quarter on a 19-0 run, completely taking control of the game and sending the Bobcats to their ninth consecutive loss and a 13-49 record on the season.
It was over when…
…These two teams, heading in completely different directions, stepped foot on the same floor together. OKC beat them 114-69 at home in November (a game that included an incredible 71-19 Thunder run) and Friday night was only a continuation.
Star of the game – OKC bench
The game’s defining 19-0 second quarter run was put together solely by the Thunder’s second-unit. They scored every point and looked crisp and cohesive doing it. And for Sam Presti, Scott Brooks and OKC’s juggling (at times struggling) bench, that has to be a good sign. Even if it was the Bobcats. The Thunder bench was outscored 71-11 in a road loss to Denver earlier this month, but outscored Charlotte’s 30-13 in the first half on Friday night (when the game was still somewhat in question).
Stats of note
-The Bobcats are 1-26 against Western Conference teams not based out of Minnesota and 2-0 against the Timberwolves.
-Kemba Walker is 3/18 shooting with a plus/minus of -55 in two games against the Thunder this year.
-In the second quarter of their two games this season, the Thunder has outscored the Bobcats 72-32.
-Kevin Durant: 6/12 shooting, 19 points, 6 rebounds and 7 assists in 24 minutes. Could have had a double-double if Charlotte kept it remotely close.
-Russell Westbrook: 5/11 shooting, 11 points, 3 rebounds and 5 assists in 25 minutes. Breaks a streak of 11 straight games with 20+ points.
Westbrook with the laser for a Durant dunk. When broken plays go right…
Sunday’s Thunder-Boston game (in OKC) starts at noon on ABC. And with Daylight Savings kicking in right before, the afternoon tip will feel even earlier. So get to bed at a decent time on Saturday, Thunder fans, or you might sleep through the first half.