By Randy Renner, For NBA.com
Posted Nov 12, 2012 6:55 AM
THE FACTS: Thunder stars Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook combined for 53 points, and Serge Ibaka blocked seven shots in leading Oklahoma City to a 106-91 win over the Cleveland Cavaliers Sunday night.
Westbrook had a double-double and led the Thunder with 27 points. He also handed out 10 assists and grabbed six rebounds, but he turned the ball over eight times. Durant finished with 26 points and eight rebounds. Kevin Martin added 16 points and Ibaka dropped in 14 while grabbing seven rebounds to go along with his blocks.
Cleveland's pick-and-roll magic was never a factor and neither was Anderson Verejao, who came in averaging 14 points and 14 rebounds. He finished with just six points on 2-for-8 shooting along with eight boards. Point guard Kyrie Irving led the Cavs with 20 points, Alonzo Gee added 18 and Daniel Gibson came off the bench to score 16.
The Thunder dominated in the paint (46-30), on the fastbreak (31-18) and shot 54.8 percent for the game. The Cavaliers were held to just 41.0 percent shooting and were outscored 27-18 in the decisive fourth quarter.
THE STAT: Westbrook was 10-for-16 overall and 4-for-6 on 3-pointers. All of the long balls came in the second half. He missed his first one, then hit four in a row before missing his last shot.
QUOTABLE: "I was trying to stay in attack mode and keep us going and get the crowd involved."
-- Russell Westbrook
TURNING POINT: The Thunder let an eight-point lead late in the third quarter shrink to just three in the final seconds. But Westbrook got loose on a fast break and nailed a 31-footer(though it appeared to be much closer to half-court) at the buzzer to push the margin back to six. That ignited a 19-8 Thunder run, including two more Westbrook 3-balls, to start the fourth quarter and put the Cavaliers away.
QUOTABLE II: "Well, first of all, that was a heck of a shot Russ made [at the third quarter buzzer] but we had a foul to give and I told Boobie [Gibson] to foul him as he was bringing the ball up. ... Boobie said he just figured Russ would put up a bad shot. I [said], 'that's why you foul him.'"
--Cavaliers coach Byron Scott
HOT: The Cavs have been an outstanding first-quarter team, especially in the first three minutes of a game. They came in hitting 58 percent of their shots and were even better tonight, going 4-for-4 (9 points) in the first three minutes. ...After Cleveland jumped out to a 17-7 lead, OKC went on a 20-6 run to close out the first quarter. ...OKC shot 60 percent (21-for-35) in the first half. ...Gibson was 5-for-6 in the opening half. ...Durant was 5-for-7 in the second half.
NOT: Varejao was 0-for-3 in the first half. ...Gibson was 1-for-6 in the second half. ...The Cavs shot just 31.0 percent (13-for-42) in the second half.
INSIDE THE ARENA: Oklahoma governor Mary Fallin sat court side among another sellout crowd at Chesapeake Energy Arena.
GOOD MOVE: Westbrook has been in a shooting slump, hitting just 38.5 percent (20-for-52) of his shots overall in the last five games and going just 6-for-21 (28.6 percent) on 3-pointers since the start of the season. In the first half, Westbrook didn't attempt a 3-pointer and no mid-range jumpers, either, instead going to the rim every time. He was 5-for-6 (13 points), adding three of those points at the foul line. He also handed out six assists in the first half.
BAD MOVE: After Westbrook took no 3-pointers in the first half and used only his inside game, the Cavs' defense tended to pack the paint in the third quarter. That strategy backfired as Westbrook went 4-for-5 on long balls in the first 15 minutes of the second half, including a 31-foot heave at the buzzer ending the third quarter.
NOTABLE: After losing two of their first three games, the Thunder have now won four straight and have scored 105 or more points in four of their five wins this season. ...The Cavaliers have lost three in a row and five of their last six.
UP NEXT: For the Cavaliers, Tuesday @ Brooklyn, Saturday vs. Dallas, Sunday @ Philadelphia. For the Thunder, Monday @ Detroit, Wednesday vs. Memphis, Friday @ New Orleans.
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