Oklahoma City Blasts Sacramento to Head into Break
Thursday, May 26th 2011, 12:12 pm
By: News On 6
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Oklahoma Sports Staff Writer
OKLAHOMA CITY -- Coming off of a disappointing loss to the Golden State Warriors, the Oklahoma City Thunder dominated the Sacramento Kings Thursday 126-96 after back-to-back road games.
The Thunder moved to set the pace and tone of the matchup early on and rode the momentum for the full 48 minutes.
On the Thunder’s opening possession Russell Westbrook drove to the rim and threw down a powerful dunk. After forcing a bad shot on the Kings’ next possession, Kevin Durant knocked down a jumper from the elbow to take a four-point advantage. Yet another stop and a layup on a Jeff Green cutter gave Oklahoma City a 6-0 lead in the game’s opening minutes.
Beno Udrih hit a jumper to score Sacramento’s first basket of the game, but the Thunder would respond with six consecutive points – including an alley-oop from Westrbrook to Green – to take a 12-2 advantage and force an early time out.
That lead expanded to 37-27 by the end of the opening 12 minutes, a commanding lead that would last through the first half.
In the second quarter, the Thunder continued to expand its lead – despite the fact that their traditional stars sat on the bench resting.
Leading 43-30 less than three minutes into the third quarter, the Thunder strung together a 13-1 run – including three from behind the arc by Daequan Cook – to extend the lead to 56-31 halfway through the quarter.
Sacramento made a late-half, six-point push – including scores on consecutive possessions by Jason Thompson – to reduce the deficit to less than 20 for the first time in more than seven minutes.
However, the Thunder wouldn’t let the lead slip away easily.
Leading by 24 points four minutes into the third quarter, Oklahoma City strung together 9-1 run – seven from Nenad Krstic – to extend its advantage to an even 30 points two minutes later.
In the closing seconds of the third quarter, a three-point play from Eric Maynor put the Thunder at the century mark, leading 100-75 to start the fourth quarter and ensure the starters would sit for the final 12 minutes.
Cook led Oklahoma City in scoring with 20 points – a high-score mark during his tenure with the team – knocking down five from three-point range. Durant contributed 17 points, Krstic and Green both added 16, while Westbrook only managed 10 points, but dished out 11 assists.
The Thunder will take a week off for the All-Star Break, during which Durant, Westbrook and Serge Ibaka will all participate in the festivities. After the break, they will host Blake Griffin and the Los Angeles Clippers.