View Full Version : Durant takes charge late as Thunder win first preseason game in OKC

Sox Appeal
10-13-2008, 11:57 PM
TULSA, Okla. -- Kevin Durant scored 20 of his 26 points in an electrifying final 8 minutes, including the go-ahead basket with just over a minute to play as the Oklahoma City Thunder beat the Houston Rockets 110-104 on Monday night to win their first preseason game in their new home state.

Durant put back Russell Westbrook's fast-break miss with 1:03 remaining to put the Thunder up 103-102 with 1:03 remaining and then shrugged off an ankle injury to hit another jumper and stretch the lead to three.

After D.J. Strawberry hit two free throws to close the gap to one, Durant hustled back after a Westbrook turnover to block Strawberry's potential go-ahead basket.

He then hit two free throws to push it to a 107-104 edge, followed that by swatting away another shot by Aaron Brooks and finally grabbed the rebound on Brent Barry's missed jumper to set up two free throws by Nick Collison that put the game away.

The Rockets led 93-85 before Durant's late surge.

The reigning rookie of the year had a dunk and a fast-break layup and then hit two free throws to cap a string of eight straight points for Oklahoma City and even the score. And he wasn't done yet.

He answered Barry's three-point play with one of his own and then had his final flourish.

Brooks scored 20 off the bench to lead the Rockets, Strawberry added 16 and Yao Ming had 15 points, 16 rebounds and three blocks in one half of action -- playing the first and third quarters.

Nick Collison had 21 points off the bench, Desmond Mason scored 16 and Chris Wilcox had 13 points and 14 rebounds.

Tracy McGrady, who played the first quarter for his first preseason action in the Rockets' previous game, sat out for the third time in four games after having offseason surgery to remove loose bodies from his left knee and left shoulder.

Jeff Green (sprained ankle) joined Robert Swift (hand), Kyle Weaver (groin), Mouhamed Sene (knee), Joe Smith (nose) and D.J. White (jaw) on Oklahoma City's injured list in a brutal four-game road trip. The Thunder's first game in Oklahoma City is Tuesday night against the Los Angeles Clippers.

Game notes
Thunder coach P.J. Carlesimo said the surgery to remove a benign growth from White's jaw was going on during the game. ... Carlesimo said the stretch of five preseason games in seven days was created because of the Thunder's decision to opt into the Tulsa preseason game against the Rockets, who had been scheduled to face the Orlando Magic. By that point, the game date wasn't flexible. "For us, it's really good to be home. It's really good to be back in the state. From the beginning, we felt that playing a game here was important. Even though we're clearly Oklahoma City's team, we're very much a team of the state also." ... Attendance was 10,007 at a half-full BOK Center.

Recap (http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/recap?gameId=281013010)

10-18-2008, 11:53 PM
This team's gonna be fun to watch. I really can't wait for the Lakers/Thunder game. I'll pay whatever I have to.

10-19-2008, 03:09 AM
It's ironic that all the players who have something to prove are injured. I'm talking about Swift, Sene, & Jeff Green. Hopefully they get back quick and play in a few exhibition games.

10-23-2008, 03:20 PM
I will really follow this team just because of Durant and Green. If they turn into players they should be, this team will be nasty.