By Anthony Slater – Aslater@opubco.com - @anthonyVslater
The Thunder stormed past Indiana 97-75 on Friday night. Here’s some rapid reaction:
Scott Brooks said “sleep is overrated” before the game, and apparently he wasn’t joking. OKC came out energized and inspired, less than 24 hours after tipping off against the Spurs, and matched a well-rested Indiana team (hadn’t played since Monday) shot for shot throughout a competitive first half. The Thunder led by one heading to the break, impressive considering they didn’t arrive in the city until 4 a.m. that morning.
It was over when…
…Indiana proved to be the team who grew weary and punchless as the game dragged on. The Thunder, who have closed games well of late, won the third quarter 28-24 and dominated the fourth quarter 25-8. Indiana was firing up contested brick after contested brick in the final 12 minutes.
What does it mean?
In many ways, this was far more impressive than the Spurs win just one night before. Indiana was rested, favored and playing at home. And OKC, over the past couple months, has been extremely mediocre on the road (7-7 in their past 14 coming into this one). So as the playoffs near, where tough road environments will become commonplace, this was extremely encouraging for the Thunder.
Star of the game – Kevin Durant
Durant was smooth and in control all night, scoring 34 points (on 13-21 shooting) and grabbing nine rebounds. It was the 32nd time he’s gone over 30 this year.
Stats of note
-OKC is 9-0 against the Eastern Conference since the All-Star Break.
-Russell Westbrook had nine assists. No one else in the game had more than three.
-Indiana shot 2/21 (9 percent) from three. The George Brothers — George Hill and Paul George — went a combined 1/13.
On the final play of the first half, Kevin Durant went down holding his left leg, stayed on the ground for a while and then gingerly limped to the locker room. Official word from the Thunder was a left calf contusion, but it didn’t hold him out of the second half. And it didn’t seem to effect him much either…
Tied at the top
OKC gets the red-hot Knicks in The Peake on Sunday at noon. New York has won 11 straight. Should be a good one.