The Thunder beat Fenerbahce Ulker 95-82 in their preseason opener in Istanbul on Saturday. Here’s some rapid reaction:
It was over when…
…OKC decided to dial it up. Fenerbahce came out energized and hot, leading throughout the early part of the first half, even stretching the margin out to double-digits. But Durant got hot late in the first half, everybody else settled in and the Thunder cruised to an easy and productive win, with all the young guys getting plenty of late run.
Star of the game – Kevin Durant
The Turkish fans cheered for their home team. But the loudest applause continuously came for Kevin Durant. And why not? He gave the people what they came to see, dropping an easy 24 points in 29 minutes, shooting 9-of-18 from the field, adding eight rebounds and throwing in a pair of vicious dunks (check out the video at the bottom of this post).
Encouraging stat of the game
-The Thunder had 22 assists on the game, with six different players (Durant, Kendrick Perkins, Reggie Jackson, Jeremy Lamb, Derek Fisher, Diante Garrett) getting at least two.
Discouraging stat of the game
-OKC went a miserable 2-of-14 (14 percent) from three, including an 0-of-3 day from Thabo Sefolosha. It’s not an immediate concern, because these guys are proven shooters, but you’re not going to win many NBA games with that shooting clip from deep.
Steven Adams showed plenty of energy and activity in his 15 second-half minutes, providing a diverse and telling stat-line in his brief time: 7 points, 6 rebounds, 5 fouls, 3 turnovers. He’s young and a bit out of control at times, piling up quick fouls on defense, but has clear talent, finishing three of his four shots around the rim and clogging the lane.
Other notable performances
-Reggie Jackson (23 minutes, 9 points, 5 rebounds, 4/6 shooting) – Looked good in stretches. Played under control.
-Serge Ibaka (27 minutes, 15 points, 6 rebounds, 4 blocks) – Scott Brooks featured him offensively at times, and Serge looked pretty good. He even tossed in a strange-looking lefty hook.
-Jeremy Lamb (31 minutes, 9 points, 5 rebounds, 4 assists, 2 blocks) – Athletic and smooth, but still very young, he’s going to impress at times and he’s going to frustrate at times, just like he did during stretches on Saturday.
Kendrick Perkins dislocated his left ring finger in the first half. Scott Brooks didn’t seem too concerned after the game, saying ‘we’ll see how he feels tomorrow’. Click here for video.
Move of the game
In this episode of ‘Whatever, it’s the preseason’, Kendrick Perkins tries a between the legs baseline drive:
Video of the game
It sure is good to have basketball back. Check out this vicious slam by KD (video h/t Daily Thunder):
OKC travels to Manchester, England, later today and will prepare for Tuesday’s overseas finale against the Philadelphia 76ers. Tip is at 2 p.m. CT on NBA TV.