Interesting note from the AP recap: “The Thunder were hopeful Krstic would be able to play, but Brooks said his back stiffened up after Tuesday’s workout. He was seen getting his lower back iced after shootaround. “There’s no pressure on him to return,” Brooks said.” Seriously Nenad… take you time.
From Elias: The Thunder trailed 69-68 at the end of the third quarter in Charlotte Tuesday night. But Oklahoma City outscored the Bobcats 31-12 in the final period and coasted to a 99-81 win. That was the second-biggest margin of victory the franchise has ever posted in a game it trailed entering the fourth quarter. On April 12, 1986, the SuperSonics trailed the Warriors 83-81 through three quarters, but crushed Golden State 40-18 in the fourth to win by 20.
From the Charlotte Observer: “The fourth quarter brought out all the spiders and ghosts that have taken up residence in the Bobcats’ collective psyche. Ball movement slowed. Shots were forced. Turnovers mounted. So did the deficit.”
Westbrook still in ESPN’s MVP watch. Time for KD to make an appearance though: “[Westbrook's] emergence as an offensive force has carried the Thunder at times, but Kevin Durant is heating up. The duo probably will cancel each other out for MVP consideration.”
Is it just me or does it totally feel like the Thunder are under the radar? Everyone is talking about the Mavs, the Spurs, the Lakers and the Jazz, but OKC is only one game off the Lakers right now. I mean, the Thunder’s 20-9. That’s pretty good I think.
Dime on OKC’s game last night: “Like we’ve told you before, Kevin Durant would most likely top the list of NBA players whom other NBA players would pay to see in action. So either Michael Jordan isn’t that bothered with seeing KD do work up-close, or else MJ doesn’t want a first-person view of what the League’s leading scorer might do to his struggling Bobcats. Jordan was conspicuously absent from his regular courtside seat during last night’s OKC/Charlotte game, and he missed Durant dropping 32 points on his squad while the Thunder owned the fourth quarter like The G.O.A.T. used to do in his day.”
OKC Thunderdome: “I did not come to praise the Thunder, but to bury them (apologies to Mr. Caesar). And oh how I wanted to bury them. The Bobcats, as previously stated by me as well as their own coach, are pretty terrible. They don’t have a ton of talent, they don’t play as a team, and they don’t know how to finish. We had to endure three quarters of agony watching this Thunder team all the while wondering if all of those nasty comments people like Hollinger and Barkley said were true.”
Donnie Walsh makes his return tonight, so he’ll be in the building to watch the Thunder and Knicks.
NBA MVP power rankings from Ziller: “Kevin Durant’s return to form has led to Westbrook driving to the rim less; at least, that’s what I take from flagging free throw numbers for Russ. He’s still been a real beast, and his explosion this season give the Thunder huge peace of mind heading into the next couple criticial years.”
The Thunder won No. 20 last night. That didn’t happen until Jan. 9 last season. OKC was 15-14 through 29 games last year.