Really, the only way there was going to be much to say after this game was if there was any result other than what we saw.
For a quarter, the Bobcats outplayed the Thunder, leading 29-28 after the first 12 minutes. But there were 36 more minutes to go, and the Thunder won those 88-65.
It started with a 21-0 run entirely by the Thunder’s second unit spanning the end of the first to the second quarter. In fact, before a Kevin Durant 3 broke it up, Oklahoma City’s bench scored 30 consecutive points in the first half. On the road, too. Yeah, yeah, against the Bobcats, but still, that’s a very positive thing to see from OKC’s second unit away from home.
Other than that, there’s not a bunch to take away here. Maybe the fun little stretch in the third quarter where the Thunder started feeding Perk on the block like he was Shaq or something. That was basically the equivalent of a basketball victory formation. Perk nailed a nice baseline baby hook, then popped a face-up jumper. And that was that.
It really was one of those games where it was a race for Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook to put up numbers before the end of the third quarter. Durant did better, getting 10 in the third to get up to 19 in 24 minutes (along with seven assists and six rebounds). Westbrook put up 11 points and five assists in 25 minutes. And if you’re wondering, this is the 13th time this season those two have sat an entire fourth quarter.
Which stats aside, is a good thing because the Thunder are playing the second of a back-to-back and in a stretch of four in five days. Sitting and resting brings down averages, but in the long view, it’s helpful. Plus, it’s fun to watch some of those end-of-the-benchers.
Not to make this win into anything, because it’s exactly what it looked like, but there’s something to be said in completely wiping the floor with a team on the road on the second night of a back-to-back. The Bobcats were soft and didn’t appear to really compete, but that really only happened after the 21-0 run where they realized in unison, “Oh crap, we are so over our heads.” The Thunder took care of business — as they should — and did it in impressive fashion.
- The first meeting, OKC smoked Charlotte 114-69. The Bobcats gave up two more points tonight, but scored 25 more. Home court advantage, you guys. It’s real.
- Charlotte’s defense was tissue paper soft. I’m not talking about Wal-Mart bathroom soft (which isn’t soft at all). I’m talking five-star hotel soft. They didn’t play with any kind of intensity, urgency or focus. They barely communicated. It looked like they were playing a pickup game. I won’t even pay them the lip-service compliment and say they’re well-coached, because I don’t think a well-coached team would’ve competed like that. Not at home.
- STAR basketball player Hasheem Thabeet was ballin’ tonight, y’all. The baseline dreamshake notwithstanding, he was everywhere in the paint, aggressive on the boards and good in OKC’s pick-and-roll. Granted, not exactly a premier opposing frontline to work against, but still.
- @CoreyDeMoss said it perfectly: “A Thabeet spin-and-hit 12-foot jumper is the FAT GUY TOUCHDOWN of the NBA.”
- Perk’s travel and then technical was a highlight. So Perk.
- Nick Collison: zero minutes in the second half. And even that was too many minutes. In 11 minutes though, he was a +17. Impressive. Player of the game, obvs.
- As bad and terrible as the Bobcats played, they only turned it over nine times. Which is kind of crazy for an awful, young team in a game they got completely worked in.
- So, uh, Derek Fisher. We can all use the “but it was the Bobcats excuse” but still, 13 points with 3-3 from 3 is 13 points with 3-3 from 3.
- Fisher would’ve been 4-4 from 3, except he put a toe on the line. Classic. And so very annoying.
- Gerald Henderson is a nice player. He deserves better.
- Reggie Jackson. I’m going to start calling him Reginald every time he plays well. He needs his own identity outside of Mr. October.
- Loved Westbrook going to the post on multiple possessions to just work over Kemba Walker. It was like watching a little LeBron.
- That lefty laser beam from Westbrook to Durant was SICK.
- He whipped a perfect pass the STAR basketball player Hasheem Thabeet and read the double teams nicely.
- Holy cow, Byron Mullens is an awful defender.
- I’m going to call myself out on this because someone needs to: In the preseason, I floated the idea of Byron Mullens for Most Improved. I envisioned him shooting like 38 percent from 3 and averaging something in the neighborhood of 16-8. I think he airballed 38 percent of his shots tonight.
- Perk’s mic pops are the best. “Get outta there!” to “Get in there girl!” to “Get that Serrrrrrrge!” to “Job Serrrrrge!” Those are worth every penny.
- Perry Jones had a rebound in the fourth quarter that literally made me go “OH!” as if he just postered someone. He got UP. His bounce is just insane.
- Thabo made a near halfcourt buzzer beater to end the first half, BUT shot it just a fraction too late.
- Have you ever seen Kevin Martin hit a jumper off the dribble going to his right? I don’t think I have.
- Jeremy Lamb: Taking a nap or shooting a jumper? It’s hard to tell the difference.
- Let’s say Reggie Jackson was Charlotte’s starting point guard. What do you think he would average? (In this scenario, assume he was still drafted and developed by the Thunder though.)
- Brian Davis Line of the Night: “This might be a stupid question, but I’m going to ask it anyway.”
Next up: Home against the Celtics at noon on Sunday.