Monday, October 13, 2008
Pre-Season Game 4 Recap: Thunder 110 Rockets 104
For some reason Rick Adelman isn't happy to see the Thunder's first win
We went to Billings...and got nothin. We went to Sacramento...and got nothin. We went to Oakland...and got nothin. We came to Tulsa to face a playoff team for the first time and expected much of the same. Well my friends, I'm happy to report that we were wrong. Congratulations to the Thunder for capturing their first ever victory!
It didn't look good at first. I was relieved when I heard T-Mac wasn't going to play, but when I saw Nick Collison guarding Yao Ming, probably giving him a good 8 inches, I again had my doubts. My doubts may have been legit if it wasn't a pre-season game, he had 15 points and 16 rebounds in just 24 minutes. Nevertheless, as the game progressed, you could see a certain fight in the Thunder that just wasn't there before...
It started like every other Thunder game. We fell in a big hole early, Durant was struggling from the field, and Wilkins and Weezy were providing the scoring. Wilkins would soon fall off in the scoring department, which would usually be bad news for the Thunder. After all, Wilkins has won the prestigious Thunder Wonder award more than any other player, in fact, he's the only ever recipient.
Thankfully though, Desmond Mason was able to play tonight, unlike what was predicted by yours truly, and gave his best contribution to date as a member of the Thunder. He went 7/10 from the floor with 16 points and 3 boards including a pretty reverse layup before the half.
Before the 4th quarter it looked like the big men would be the story for the Thunder. Both Chris Wilcox and Nick Collison had outstanding games. The highlight of Weezy's game had to be the powerful jam he scored right over Yao. Nick Collison also had a memorable play against Yao where the Great Wall came down with the rebound (as always) and Nick swiped it clear out of his hands. Collison finished the night with 21 points and 4 boards, shooting 60%.
Like I alluded to earlier though, in the 4th quarter it was all Kevin Durant. 20 of his 26 points came in the 4th quarter and he had two blocks and one steal in the final 35 seconds or so, not to mention clutch free throws and a nice fade away to help salt things away.
The star Rocket player played as expected. Like I said earlier, Yao dominated, though he missed constant layups which was really crucial for the Rockets. Ron Artest looked very strong early, but finished with only 8 points. Of course, T-Mac didn't even see the court.
Thunder Wonder: Kevin Durant 26 points, 8/16 shooting, 5 rebounds, 4 steals, 3 blocks, 4 assists, 2 turnovers, 2 fouls
KD filled up almost every stat cat today. Really, he won the game single handedly today, and on both sides of the court. Also, don't forget, he went down with what appeared to be a sprained ankle in the second half only to get right back up and not miss any time at all.
Honourable Mention: Weezy 13 points, 6-10 shooting, 14 rebounds, 4 steals, 2 blocks, 2 assists, 1 turnover, 2 fouls
It was a close call, him or Collison, but Wilcox was able to do more than just score.
Thunder Blunder: Russell Westbrook 5 points, 1/8 shooting, 3 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 turnovers
Continues to struggle. It's ok though, he still has lots of room to improve. I remember Chris Paul didn't look so hot his first few games either.
Thunder Plunderer: Yao Ming 15 points, 4/10 shooting, 16 rebounds, 3 blocks
Yeah, he shoot terribly, and theres no excuse for a guy that tall to shoot 40%. Still though, he was killer from the line and nearly unstoppable for the Thunder all game long.