“I'm not (satisfied),” Westbrook murmured. “I can do better.”
The Thunder ran away in the second quarter. A 22-4 run in a seven-minute span was the difference. It turned a two-point lead into a 56-36 advantage with 2 1/2 minutes remaining in the half.
There perhaps couldn't have been a prettier spurt.
Oklahoma City built its lead with a beautiful blend of basketball that relied on defense turning into offense and ball movement leading to open shots. Four Thunder players scored during the run, led by Martin's nine points. Durant scored seven, Ibaka had four and Westbrook added two points.
The Thunder during the run turned four turnovers into eight points — a theme on the night as OKC scored 28 points off 18 Kings turnovers — and had seven assists on eight made field goals. Westbrook had four of those helpers.
“I thought our defense was really good. They had 16 points in that second quarter,” Brooks said. “They weren't getting a lot of good looks because we were defending. Give our guys credit, they came in in that second quarter and defended and Russell was making it really … he was leading the charge, both ends of the floor. And that's what he does. That's what I've always loved in him.”
OKC entered the final period with an 82-68 lead which swelled to 99-75 with 7:53 left to play. It appeared as if Westbrook, Durant and Ibaka would comfortably be able to take another fourth quarter off. But the bench promptly allowed an 18-4 Sacramento run that allowed the Kings to pull within 103-93.
Sacramento got as close as 103-98 after Westbrook, Durant and Ibaka returned. But to no one's surprise, it was Westbrook who finished off the Kings, with two assists naturally, both to Ibaka. The second dish led to a layup that put the Thunder back on top by 11 with 1:53 remaining.
“It's good,” Westbrook softly offered when asked his satisfaction level when his assists numbers match his point total. “But we just need to do a better job of finishing games.”