The Thunder crushed the Nets 120-95 in Brooklyn on Friday night. Here are five quick observations:
1. Streak over - Kevin Durant’s 30-point streak is over. And it ended in the most fitting of ways, with his complete dominance over the first three quarters rendering his services unneeded in the fourth. Durant was a super-efficient 10-of-12 for 26 points and seven assists in 30 minutes, leading a one-sided effort that had the Thunder up 89-59 entering the fourth. So KD took a well-earned seat for the final 12 minutes, his work in January done. Here are his final averages in the best month of his career: 35.9 points, 6.0 assists, 6.1 rebounds, 13-4 record.
2. Serge’s big night - Durant’s 83 percent night from the field was pretty good. But it wasn’t the best on his team. Serge Ibaka played a flawless offensive game in Brooklyn, making all 12 of his shots. Overall, Ibaka went off for 25 points and nine rebounds, concluding what may have been, like Durant, the best month of his career. Recently, he’s definitely had his best offensive stretch. In the past five games, Ibaka has made 47 of his 69 shots (68 percent), scoring 20-plus in four of them.
3. Another day, another win - That’s an NBA-best 10 straight victories for the Thunder and an NBA-best 38-10 record. Truly an unbelievable stretch, when you consider who is sitting on the end of the bench in street clothes. The only thing more impressive than crushing Miami and Brooklyn — the defending champs and the East’s hottest team — on the road by a combined 42 points was beating the Rockets-Warriors and Blazers-Spurs on two consecutive back-to-backs earlier this month. January was good to OKC.
4. Good for Perk - Just like Miami, Brooklyn has a downsized lineup, meaning this was another matchup that didn’t really fit Kendrick Perkins. But on this night, with how things were going for OKC, it didn’t matter. The Thunder could have thrown me out there and I probably would have found a way to fire in an off-balanced eyes-closed hook shot. Scott Brooks gave Perkins 23 minutes. And the prideful big man responded, compiling eight points and eight rebounds. Nice performance from Perk, which included one of the slowest yet successful drives in NBA history.
I bring to you: Kendrick Perkins, Rucker Park mode
5. Highlight fest - Just an entertaining, complete, fun game from the Thunder. Plenty of highlights, including this pretty alley-oop from Reggie Jackson to Kevin Durant:
-Jason Kidd giving Kevin Durant the look that we are all giving him lately:
-Perry Jones has the chance to be a really good NBA defender.
-On Friday night, Brooklyn set an NBA record for the fewest rebounds in a game with 17.
-Former president Bill Clinton was sitting courtside. In an interview with ESPN, Clinton on KD: “He’s unbelievable. Even better in person than on television.”. Clinton on the Thunder: “They’re just a great team. It’s going to be hard for anyone to beat them.”
-New streak to watch: Hasheem Thabeet has scored 2+ points in one consecutive game.
-Up next: At Washington on Saturday night