The Kings rallied back from a 19 point deficit in the first half to take a lead in the fourth quarter, but the Thunder forced the Kings into a tough shot late, and denied them an inbounds pass with 3/10ths of a second to seal the deal and get redemption for the overtime loss in Sacramento on Superbowl Sunday.
Tonight’s game was sort of a study in contrasts with the Kings. In the first half the Kings couldn’t get anything going. They were missing tons of open jumpers and turning the ball over-11 of them in the first half. Meanwhile the Thunder were playing incredibly well offensively. Spacing the floor, passing the ball and hitting the jumpers. The Thunder had a 38-12 points in the paint advantage at halftime and a 13 point lead. Along the way the Thunder shot 62% in the first quarter and 52% in the second, while the Kings shot 48% and 43% respectively. The Thunder also had a 7 rebound advantage at the half.
In the second half, the Kings were like a different team. They just completely outplayed us in the third. They came out and competed defensively and shot lights out. They had zero turns in the quarter and shot 15-21 (71%). Meanwhile the Thunder opened the quarter going 4-12, causing Brooks to almost light his hair on fire and calling his second timeout to try and settle the team down. Finally Durant caught fire towards the end of the third hitting some jumpers and a pair of threes to end the quarter. During the third the Thunder shot 43% and Durant notched his 30th point.
In the fourth, both teams looked like they were competing on defense, but there were very few stops. Both teams just lit it up. The Thunder shot 52% in the fourth, while the Kings shot 54%. But what was crazy was the ridiculous three point shooting by the Kings in the fourth, going 6-9 and making the crowd visibly nervous. But the Thunder forced Francisco Garcia into a terrible off balance three pointer to win with 3 seconds left to effectively seal the deal. Had Nick Collison hit his two free throws with 12 seconds left, no late game heroics would have been needed. Keep Reading…