Rapid reaction: Oklahoma City takes down Chicago 97-91 on the road
By Anthony Slater – Aslater@opubco.com - @anthonyVslater
Despite 22 turnovers, Oklahoma City fought through a sloppy effort to beat Chicago, 97-91, in an impressive road win on Thursday night. Here’s some rapid reaction:
Russell Westbrook struggled with his shot all night, forcing at times and going 7-22 from the field. But after a long rest to start the fourth quarter, he reentered with 6:58 left, immediately delivered two beautiful assists (two of his season-high 12 on the night) and made an acrobatic lay-in, shifting momentum and helping OKC open up a five-point lead.
It was over when…
…Kevin Durant, finally, decided to take over. He was hesitant on the offensive end all night, but crunch time was KD time. First, he hit a beautiful jump hook over Luol Deng, putting the Thunder up four and delivering the presumed dagger with under a minute left. But the Bulls showed fight, scoring immediately and shifting pressure back toward OKC. But Durant, a man who doesn’t feel pressure, lofted a picturesque fadeaway through on the next possession, essentially clinching the big road win.
Unsung hero – OKC’s bench
The starters closed it out, but they would have never been there without strong play from the second unit. Kevin Martin, Eric Maynor and Nick Collison went a combined 7-11 from the field, scoring 29 points and accumulating an impressive plus-minus of +29. In contrast, the Thunder starters combined for a plus-minus of negative-10.
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