Kevin Durant got to rest in the fourth quarter, finishing the 3 games in 3 nights with 3 wins for the Oklahoma City Thunder, who made easy work of the San Antonio Spurs with a 37-21 third quarter. James Harden added 20 off the bench in another fantastic game for the best sixth man in the NBA.
Back to back to back nights are made for young, fast, quick to get back on their feet teams. Just like the Oklahoma City Thunder, the best team in the Western conference. No one needed to get 30 minutes, as Kevin Durant came closest with 29. He finished with 21 points, 10 rebounds and 7 assists. Just for those who like to complain that he doesn’t add significantly in other categories except for scoring.
Russell Westbrook? He’s fine. Took 13 shots, four more than Durant. His 5-13 didn’t impress anyone. His 5 assists didn’t either. Selfish, with 13 points, but these aren’t the kind of games to bother him or anyone on the Thunder. When you lose by 10 points in the fourth quarter and still win in double digits, there’s not that much to criticize.
The San Antonio Spurs, 6-3 this season, will have these days, when scoring just becomes too hard for them. No Manu Ginobili, and Tony Parker having a rough time, finishing with only 4 points and 1-8 from the field. Parker needs to step up as this is no longer a three star team, and right now not even with two. With Parker playing like that, it’s not even one.
James Harden continues his fantastic season, adding 20 points. He’s averaging 17.8 so far this season in just a bit over 30 minutes per game, while shooting a very good 47.6% from the field. Nick Collison remains some sort of barometer for the Thunder’s success and energy levels, who remained high despite the 3 nights in a row. He finished 12 points and 10 boards in 22 minutes.
I just think the big thing was not to dwell on it and not make too much out of it. It’s not sometimes as bad as people think. Durant said that the most important thing for the Thunder is that the 3 games in 3 nights thing happened early in the season. He might have a point.
Meanwhile, taking a short view of the rest of the Western conference, no one will be able to catch the Thunder. They did lose Eric Maynor for the season, meaning Russell Westbrook has more time to be in the court and mix being a point guard with a guy who just shoots although he shouldn’t be doing it. Still, the Thunder look like the team to beat in the West. The Lakers will soon find out that Bryant can’t keep shooting 25 attempts a night and still win.