AUBURN HILLS, Mich. — Kevin Durant scored a game-high 37 points and came within two rebounds and three assists of a triple-double on Friday night.
And all anyone is likely to be talking about a day later is the play of Steven Adams.
The rookie center out of Pittsburgh continues to impress with strong play early this season, and against one of the league's best front lines Adams took home his first double-double in the Thunder's 119-110 victory at Detroit.
Adams scored 17 points, shot 7-for-10 from the field, grabbed 10 rebounds, dished three assists and blocked three shots in 30 minutes off the bench. It was the first double-double by a Thunder rookie since Serge Ibaka scored 13 points with 10 rebounds against Toronto on Feb. 28, 2010.
“I thought Steven had just a terrific game,” said Thunder coach Scott Brooks. “The young man is getting better and better every day because he works hard. He has great hands, and he finishes around the basket. Those are the things that we expect him to continue to get better at.”
By halftime, Adams had recorded eight points on 4-for-5 shooting, with three rebounds, one assist and two blocks in 11 minutes. In that stretch, he showed flashes of great timing, terrific footwork and superb finishes.
On one possession, Adams, while in transition, caught an overthrown pass from Reggie Jackson before gathering, pivoting and finishing with a pretty reverse layup. Two minutes later, Adams flew into a crowded lane following a missed jumper by Jackson and tipped the ball up and in.
Adams' impact was as palpable on the stat sheet as it was to the naked eye. When the Thunder went into the locker room with a four-point lead, Adams was a plus-14 in the plus-minus category, a game-high.
He was just getting warmed up.
In the second half, Adams produced one jaw-dropping play after another. When Pistons forward Jonas Jerebko beat the defense with a baseline drive and looked to finish a reverse layup, Adams denied him by pinning the attempt to the backboard, controlling it on the way down and giving OKC possession. In a half-court set, Adams later set a screen for Jackson and rolled hard to the rim, catching a bounce pass while in route before finishing with a rhythmic layup.
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