Flipped the script: Tough defense defeats Memphis
By Addam Francisco
Considering Oklahoma City played the offensively challenged Memphis Grizzlies, defense shouldn't be a tall order but considering last game's defensive struggle against the Sacramento Kings, a 112-94 win over Memphis is definitely welcomed. Who do they have to thank for that? Well the usual when it comes to defense; Steven Adams, Serge Ibaka and surprisingly Enes Kanter. They also combined for 4 of the teams 6 blocks along with winning the rebounding battle over what used to be the leagues best rebounding team 52-39.
Memphis tried the small lineup starting out, excluding Zach Randolph, but after the first half of the first quarter they realized that wasn't going to work so the Grizzlies went back to their usual lineup with Randolph included. Marc Gasol and Zach Randolph who normally combine for 28.9 points per game only combined for 20 today, with an even worse 7-of-27 shooting for the game. For the exception of Mario Chalmers, OKC did a very great job defensively, but c'mon, this is the NBA, even then there's always going to be that one player that has a good game when others don't.
Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook combined for 46 points... Along with 17 rebounds from KD which is great, but typical. The telling story offensively for this game is the 50 points off the bench, 29 of which came from Dion Waiters and Anthony Morrow combined off an astonishing 9-of-13 shooting and 4-of-5 from three. Unfortunately, those two players have great stretches, then they go MIA for a couple of games. Lets hope they continue to play well, with the constant contributions from Cameron Payne, who scored 8 tonight and 9 points and 8 rebounds from Enes Kanter.
With this win, Oklahoma City improves to (25-11) on the season and firmly in the third spot in the Western Conference. Friday, the Thunder will be in California to play the (8-28 )Lakers for the third time this season.