George Karl got his wish. Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook most definitely did not combine for 72 points in this game. Far from it, in fact.
Don’t think he’s going to call it a success though.
Despite holding Oklahoma City’s dynamite tandem to just 44 points, the Nuggets still lost 106-89. Reason being? There are, in fact, eight other players on the team that can, in fact, do things. James Harden led the way with 18 off the bench, Serge Ibaka had 12, Nick Collison 10 and Daequan Cook six. In Game 1, Durant and Westbrook scored 67 of the Thudner’s total points. Tonight, just 41 percent.
It’s pretty clear to me that when Durant and Westbrook play really well, the Thunder are good. When two, even just one, other players show up, the Thunder are really good. One reason being, Oklahoma City is playing some defense. Other than the first six minutes of Game 1, the Thunder’s defense has been good. Tonight, it was terrific. The Nuggets shot just 39.1 percent from the field and scored only 89 points. We’re talking about the top one or two offense in the league here. And not only did the Thunder defend, but check the glass: 54-31 in favor of OKC. With 17 offensive boards. Keep Reading…