OKC Goes Through the Motions in Win against Detroit
Thursday, May 26th 2011, 12:16 pm
By: News On 6
Originally Published: Mar 11, 2011 9:39 PM CDTGrant Belcher
Oklahoma Sports Staff Writer
OKLAHOMA CITY – It might not have pretty or exciting, but OKC did what it was supposed to do: take care of an inferior opponent at home.
The Thunder took on the struggling Pistons and came away with a 104-94 victory on Friday at the Oklahoma City Arena.
Perhaps the most positive aspect of the game for Oklahoma City was the continued offensive aggression from James Harden.
Harden scored 22 points on 7-of-11 shooting (4-of-6 from 3-point range), which was second among all scorers only to Kevin Durant’s 24.
Harden has scored in double figures in 11 straight games for OKC, coordinating somewhat with the departure of starting forward Jeff Green to Boston.
He has scored 20-plus in three of the past six games.
The Thunder encountered a little bit of trouble early, trailing 26-22 after the first quarter.
But Oklahoma City snapped out of it slightly before the break, going on an 8-2 run to finish out the half.
A barrage of 3-pointers helped OKC to score 15 points in the final 3:28 of the quarter to extend the lead to double digits and take control.
OKC shot well across the board, posting exactly 50 percent from the field and from 3-point range, and hitting 85 percent from the line.
Russell Westbrook posted his 30th double-double of the year with 13 points and 11 assists.
He became the fifth player in NBA history to reach 4,000 points, 1,500 assists and 1,000 rebounds in his first three seasons in the league, joining an ultra-elite company in Chris Paul, Anfernee Hardaway, LeBron James and Oscar Robertson.
The Thunder continue to stand unrivaled at the No. 4 spot in the Western Conference, four games back from the Lakers and 3.5 ahead of the Nuggets with 18 games to play.
Oklahoma City will hit the road to take on the Cavaliers on Sunday at Noon.