OKC Thunder downs Denver for solid road win

The Thunder got up on the Nuggets early, controlled throughout and separated late for an impressive 105-93 victory Tuesday.
by Anthony Slater Published: December 17, 2013


photo - Oklahoma City Thunder's Russell Westbrook, left, make a pass with Denver Nuggets' Kenneth Faried, right, covering during the first quarter of an NBA basketball game Tuesday, Dec. 17, 2013, in Denver. (AP Photo/Barry Gutierrez)
Oklahoma City Thunder's Russell Westbrook, left, make a pass with Denver Nuggets' Kenneth Faried, right, covering during the first quarter of an NBA basketball game Tuesday, Dec. 17, 2013, in Denver. (AP Photo/Barry Gutierrez)

But regardless of where it's slotted, it was completed with the same formula that has turned OKC into the hottest team in basketball the past few weeks.

Winners of 15 of its past 16, the Thunder once again relied on steady defense (Denver shot 41 percent), contributions from everywhere (four bench players had at least six points) and its typical star play.  

Serge Ibaka started it off on Tuesday night, scoring OKC's first 11 points and 13 of his 17 in the first quarter.

And once he cooled off, Kevin Durant heated up, going 9-of-16 for 23 of his 30 points after the opening quarter. It was his league-leading 12th 30-point game of the season.

And then, of course, there was Russell Westbrook, the Thunder's high-energy, do-everything point guard who controlled the game from end-to-end with his aggression and relentlessness.

Westbrook finished with 21 points, 13 rebounds and eight assists, narrowly missing another triple-double. In his past six games, he's averaging 21.1 points, 9.1 rebounds and 9.8 assists.

“He's just a freak athlete,” Durant said of Westbrook, who entered the night leading NBA point guards by a wide margin at 5.4 rebounds per game. “He's 6-3, big, strong. He's a great rebounder for his position. It does a lot for us because he get off the boards, push the break and get everybody easy baskets.” 

Easy baskets and an easy and impressive win on the road. The Thunder's best this season.


by Anthony Slater
Thunder Beat Writer
Anthony Slater started on the Thunder beat in the summer of 2013, joining after two years as NewsOK.com's lead sports blogger and web editor. A native Californian, Slater attended Sonoma State for two years before transferring to Oklahoma State in...
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