Oklahoma City Thunder: Thunder driving down easy street — for now
OKC has won its past four games by an average margin of 25.3 points. As a result of its recent dominance, the Thunder hasn't had to call on Russell Westbrook, Kevin Durant or Kendrick Perkins for a single second in any of the previous four fourth quarters.
SALT LAKE CITY — What a week it was for the Oklahoma City Thunder.
Four games. Four wins. Four drama-free fourth quarters.
That's just the way the Thunder wanted the schedule to play out in the final days leading up to All-Star Weekend.
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“When you get close to the All-Star break teams tend to relax, and I think we're just trying to speed it up a little bit,” said Russell Westbrook.
The Thunder enters Tuesday's game at Utah rolling, having won its past four games by an average margin of 25.3 points. None of those four wins were by less than 21 points. As a result of its recent dominance, the Thunder hasn't had to call on Westbrook, Kevin Durant or Kendrick Perkins for a single second in any of the previous four fourth quarters.
“Hopefully we can get a nice little streak going here,” Durant said, half-jokingly, of sitting out the entire fourth. “It feels good to cheer on my teammates in the fourth quarters and play so well that we don't have to play the fourth quarters. I'm sure it's not going to be like that for a long time. But we got to continue to keep playing well, and when the fourth quarter comes around I try to do my thing.”
In many ways, this past week has epitomized how effective the Thunder has been most of the season. Durant has sat out all 12 minutes of the fourth quarter 10 times this season. Westbrook hasn't had to check in for the final frame 11 times this year.
Oklahoma City owns a league-best 9.6-point scoring differential and has seen 28 of its 39 wins come by at least 10 points.
“You don't go into games thinking that you will win by a big margin,” said Thunder coach Scott Brooks. “You go into games thinking that if you play well and play the right way you'll have a chance to win. And we've done a good job with that all year.”
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