Daequan Cook propels OKC Thunder past Sacramento Kings

By John Rohde, Staff Writer, jrohde@opubco.com Published: April 24, 2012

> “Unreal,” Aldrich said of Cook. “It was fun. I wasn't on the sidelines doing my leg kick. I was hoping someone else was doing it for me.”

Aldrich helped seal the game by going 4 for 4 from the free-throw line in the final 35.5 seconds.

Recently acquired guard Derek Fisher directed the second unit and finished with 11 points and five assists.

As for the starters, Thunder All-Star Kevin Durant started the game 3 for 3 from the field, but then hit just 4 of his final 16.

Despite misfiring from the field, Durant maintained his slight lead over Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant for this year's scoring title thanks to going 15 for 16 from the free-throw line to end with 32 points in 32½ minutes.

The Thunder was without its top reserve in pending Sixth Man of the Year James Harden, who sat out due to a concussion he suffered Sunday after getting hit by the elbow of Lakers forward Metta World Peace, who received a seven-game suspension.

“He's a big factor on our bench, not just our bench but our whole team,” Cook said of Harden. “Those guys (on the bench) had to step up big and we all did a great job playing our roles and doing what we needed to do to get the win.”

Sacramento wound up shooting 52.4 percent for the game, but shot an astounding 81.8 percent from the field in the first quarter, making 18 of 22 attempts to take a 40-35 lead.

Needless to say, it was the most points and highest shooting percentage given up by the Thunder this season.

The Kings didn't cool off any early in the second quarter, pushing their lead to 50-37 at the 9:43 mark thanks to 77.8-percent shooting (21 for 27).

The Thunder stormed back quickly and pulled to within 52-51 at the 4:18 mark and managed to stay close until the fourth quarter, when Cook and his fellow reserves took command.



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