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OKC Thunder runs past Bobcats

By John Rohde Published: March 8, 2013

With the loss of the explosive Harden, Thunder reserves have always been evaluated on points scored rather than points allowed. Perhaps all that should change.

“I thought defensively that second quarter was really good,” OKC coach Scott Brooks said. “We didn’t start the game off like we normally would, but the second unit came in and picked it up. Our guys did a better job of locking in and playing defense.”

Reggie Jackson directed with reserves with nine points, five assists and three rebounds, while center Hasheem Thabeet had eight points, eight rebounds, three blocked shots and a steal.

The Thunder took the lead for good with the first bucket of the second quarter and led by as many as 29.

Because of maintaining a comfortable lead, Brooks once again was able to rest his starters the entire fourth quarter.

“I think it is always important to rest your starters, if you have a chance,” Brooks said. “You don’t go into a game thinking that way because this is such a competitive league, but it was nice to have that opportunity tonight.”

Kevin Durant led OKC with 19 points, seven assists and six rebounds while playing 23:46. Fisher and Thabo Sefolsoha had 13 points and each shot 3 for 3 on 3-pointers. Serge Ibaka had 12 points (eight in the first quarter), seven rebounds and two blocks, while Kevin Martin and Russell Westbrook scored 11 each.

“It was a good game for us,” Durant said. “We moved the ball well and the second unit played well. The first unit started off slow, but after our second unit came in, we played up to their level, and in the third quarter we did a great job.”