As if to show how far he’s come in his NBA career, turning into a more complete player, Kevin Durant keeps pulling off more and more impressive triple doubles, getting his third of the season (and of his career) in an easy win for the Oklahoma City Thunder over the Hornets.
When you get a triple-double, people think it’s just about the guy that gets it. Your teammates make so many great plays to put you in position to do that. So, it’s not just me. My teammates made me look good tonight. My teammates just did a great job of making me look good and really giving me that triple-double. I wasn’t trying to force it or anything like that. I was just playing the game and it happened to come.
Durant didn’t just get a triple double (18 points, 11 rebounds, 10 assists), he did it in two and a half quarters, getting five assists in less than four minutes during the third quarter as the Thunder, on their way to a 119-74 demolition of the Hornets, ran away with the game in that period.
Russell Westbrook was the man who enjoyed those assists the most, leading the team with 29 points and some impressive cutbacks and off-screens cuts to the basket leading to easy points, as the Thunder scored 52 points in the paint and 55.3% from the field. Serge Ibaka was another player to enjoy Durant’s vision, scoring 18 points to go with his 7 rebounds and 3 blocks.
The huge lead gave coach Scott Brooks the whole fourth quarter to rest his starters and give playing time to new acquisitions Derek Fisher and Ronnie Brewer. Fisher played 21 minutes but missed all of his field goal attempts. Brewer did a little bit better, scoring 5 points in the 12 minutes he was given on the floor.
They bring toughness. They bring experience. They just know how to play. They know where to be, they know when to get out of the way and they know when to make plays. Derek gives us a great deal of experience and he’s still a player. Trust me, we’re not bringing him in here just to tell us good stories about Kobe and Shaq, how they won championship and he was the guy. We’re not going to eat S’mores together. He’s going to play.