Thunder Dominates in Game Two of Opening Round
Thursday, May 26th 2011, 12:21 pm
By: News On 6
Originally Published: Apr 20, 2011 9:56 PM CDTGrant Belcher
Oklahoma Sports Staff Writer
OKLAHOMA CITY – Denver Coach George Karl would be hard-pressed to find an individual call that decided this game.
The Oklahoma City Thunder dominated from start to finish in a 106-89 victory on Wednesday night at the Oklahoma City Arena.
OKC now has a 2-0 lead in the best-of-seven series, which will now head to Denver for two games.
The Thunder led the entire game, including by double digits for more than three quarters of it.
The big story of the night for Oklahoma City was the re-emergence of other offensive options outside of Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook.
James Harden, who had just five points in the first game, responded with 18 this time around. He was the leading scorer headed into halftime with 14.
The other three starters – Serge Ibaka, Kendrick Perkins and Thabo Sefolosha – combined for 25 points this game after contributing nine among them in the first matchup.
Nick Collison also got into the action with 10 points.
The Thunder made their presence felt on both ends of the floor early, with Harden and Collison combining for OKC’s final 11 points of the first quarter to help their team to a 31-15 lead.
A free throw from Eric Maynor gave OKC a 26-point lead three minutes into the second quarter, its largest of the game.
Denver made a couple of small runs, pulling to within 10 at one point, but the Thunder always had a response.
Kevin Durant led all scorers with 23 and Russell Westbrook had 21.
The jaw-dropping stat of the night was OKC outrebounding the Nuggets after having some trouble keeping the Denver big men off the boards on Sunday.
The Thunder racked up 54 total boards to Denver’s 31, and picked up 17 offensive rebounds to Denver’s five.
Denver’s Chris Anderson and J.R. Smith logged just a combined 13 minutes, and neither played in the second half.
There is no word yet on whether the two are being disciplined or if they will be playing in the next game.
Game three will take place Saturday in Denver, with tipoff set for 9 p.m. central time.