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Jeremy Lamb comes up big for OKC Thunder

Guard scored 12 of his 17 points in the second half to help the Thunder stave off a pesky Bucks squad on Saturday night inside Chesapeake Energy Arena and snap a two-game losing streak.
by Darnell Mayberry Published: January 11, 2014
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Jeremy Lamb just knew he was headed for a big game Thursday at Denver.

The second-year shooting guard confidently expressed as much to just about anybody who would listen.

But then he scored three points, one more than his season low, and missed 11 of 12 shots in Oklahoma City's loss to the Nuggets.

Two nights later, before the Thunder's 101-85 win over Milwaukee, Lamb didn't have that confident look. Didn't feel it, either.

Yet he scored 12 of his 17 points in the second half to help the Thunder stave off a pesky Bucks squad on Saturday night inside Chesapeake Energy Arena and snap a two-game losing streak.

“I love what Jeremy did tonight,” said Thunder coach Scott Brooks. “He didn't shoot the ball well last game and wanted to come back better like all of our guys do. And he bounced back. He showed a lot of toughness. These are steps that he has taken this year and he has to continue to take. We're seeing his growth right in front of our eyes.”

When the Thunder's offense was stuck in mud against the worst team in basketball, Lamb came along and provided a helping hand. After the Bucks battled back from a 12-point deficit and wrestled away a surprising two-point lead midway through the third quarter, Lamb scored eight straight points to spark an 11-2 run.

He blocked a layup attempt by Bucks point guard Brandon Knight.

He knocked down a 3-pointer off a feed from Serge Ibaka.

He converted a layup off an assist from Thabo Sefolosha.

He nailed another 3 off a pass from Kevin Durant.

The Thunder never looked back.

Led by Lamb, Oklahoma City responded to that push by the Bucks with a 15-4 run before closing the third quarter on a 25-8 spurt that put the Thunder ahead 77-62 entering the final period. OKC's 39 points in the quarter were the most scored by the team in any third period this season.

After making just 12 of 42 shots in the first half, the Thunder made 13 of its 24 field-goal attempts in the third quarter. Durant paced all players with 14 of his game-high 33 points coming in the period. Ibaka added nine of 17 points.

“They played a little zone, and for shooters a zone is a great thing,” Lamb said. “And my teammates found me. Even though I had some terrible games (lately), my teammates still trusted me, coaches still trusted me, and I was able to knock some down.”

Brooks said he spoke with Lamb on Saturday morning and told him he got good shots that just didn't go in at Denver. The coach said he told the player to look for the same shots Saturday night.

This time, they fell.

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by Darnell Mayberry
OKC Thunder Senior Reporter
Darnell Mayberry grew up in Langston, Okla. and is now in his third stint in the Sooner state. After a year and a half at Bishop McGuinness High, he finished his prep years in Falls Church, Va., before graduating from Norfolk State University in...
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