By Addam Francisco
These close games mess with everybody's nerves, but they are exciting. In yet another nail-biter, Oklahoma City squeaks past the Sacramento Kings 98-95 at the Peake Sunday night. Although it wasn't the prettiest win by any means, a win is a win and Oklahoma City improves to (12-8) at the quarter mark of the season which marks their 14th straight win over the Kings at home.
Tonight wasn't the best night for Kevin Durant (who had 10 turnovers) which clearly seemed to bother him after the game but thanks to Anthony Morrow's motivating words throughout the game he keep his head up, which led to big plays late in the game on both ends of the court to secure the comeback win. KD scored 20 points and pulled down 10 rebounds on the night which is his 5th double-double of the season. OKC was up 17 points in the third quarter but due to a multitude of turnovers in the fourth quarter, Sacramento was able to come back and pick up a 6-point lead. Surprisingly though, late game defense is what won this game.
Turnovers were a problem on both sides in this game for both teams, with a combined 35 by both squads... 21 by Sac-Town, 14 by OKC. That stat alone had this game in a tailspin, which caused for a lot of confusion both defensively and offensively.
Russell however, did a great job regulating things and sticking to his game and regular energy, which led to his third triple-double scoring 19 points off 7-of-13 shooting along with 10 assists and 11 rebounds with three turnovers which i'll take from Russell knowing that he turns the ball over a lot on the typical night. Speaking of energy though, Serge Ibaka continues to be a surge on this team on both ends, while being efficient. 12 points, off 6-of-8 shooting with 7 rebounds and three blocks in just 19 minutes of play (due to his five fouls) is very impressive. He seems to be in the post a little more, which everyone loves to see, instead of being outside shooting long jumpers 80 percent of the time.
This was one of those impressive games for the two Thunder post players, Enes Kanter (offensively) and Steven Adams (defensively). In addition to Durant, Kanter had a double-double as well, with 14 points and 10 rebounds. Adams scored 6 points with 12 rebounds tonight along with 1 steal that came late in the fourth quarter. Oh yeah, he also had that nasty crossover on DeMarcus Cousins, and the assist on a fast-break.
Look for great things to happen when your team shoots 40 percent from three and wins the rebounding battle 62-41 though, and look for it to continue on Tuesday night as the look for revenge in Memphis, Tennessee against the (12-9) Grizzlies who beat them earlier in the season.