Notebook: Thunder 97, Bulls 91

Posted Nov 9, 2012 9:22 AM

By Kent McDill, for

THE FACTS: Playing before a national television audience, the visiting Oklahoma City Thunder and the Chicago Bulls traded scores and stops until the Thunder pulled away for a 97-91 victory Thursday. Kevin Durant had 24 points (eight in the final three minutes), while Serge Ibaka had 21 points, nine rebounds and four blocked shots. Luol Deng led the Bulls with his season-high 27 points, and Richard Hamilton had his season-high 20 points.

THE FACTS II: Each team dominated the game at numerous times and the lead switched hands nine times. The Bulls led by eight points in the first quarter, which ended in a 24-24 tie. The Thunder led by seven points in the second quarter but were up by just one point at half. Both teams enjoyed six-point leads in the fourth quarter.

QUOTABLE I: "That's what makes a special player. They can have an average game, then in the last four or five minutes they can win the game for you."
-- Oklahoma City coach Scott Brooks, talking about Durant.

THE STAT: The teams shared 42 turnovers, 22 for the Thunder, and Durant had six. But Durant also contributed three blocked shots and a game-high three steals.

THE STAT II: The teams were near perfect from the free-throw line. Oklahoma City was 20-for-21 and the Bulls were 16-for-18.

THE STAT III: The Thunder got 29 points from their bench, led by Kevin Martin's 15 points, while the Bulls got just 14 points from their reserves, and only four in the second half.

TURNING POINT: With the Thunder up 89-87 and 1:47 left, Deng lost the ball trying to drive down the right side of the lane, and Durant made a jumper at the other end for a four-point Thunder lead. The Bulls could not get back from that.

HOT: Durant was the best shooter on the night, making 11 of his 19 shots.

NOT: Bulls forward Carlos Boozer has had three consecutive bad shooting games. He went three for nine against the Thunder, and is 10-for-35 (28.6 percent) over the last three games.

QUOTABLE II: "We made runs, they made runs. It was a pretty emotional game, but they hit some tough shots down the stretch."
-- Bulls center Joakim Noah.

NOTABLE: The Bulls, one of the best home teams of the past two seasons, have already lost twice at home this season ... The Thunder were the first team to top 93 points against the Bulls this season ... Deng has led the Bulls in scoring three straight games.

UP NEXT: For the Bulls, vs. Timberwolves Saturday, vs. Celtics Monday, at Suns Wednesday. For the Thunder, vs. Pistons Friday, vs. Cavaliers Sunday, at Pistons Monday.