Notbook: Thunder 105, Pistons 94



Posted Nov 10, 2012 12:22 AM

By Randy Renner, For NBA.com

THE FACTS: Thunder forward Serge Ibaka set a career high with 25 points and Kevin Durant scored a season-high 27 to go along with 13 rebounds as Oklahoma City grinded out a 105-94 win over the winless Detroit Pistons.

Ibaka also pulled down seven rebounds and blocked three shots. Oklahoma City had three other players in double figures: Kevin Martin had 16 but he wasn't nearly as efficient as usual, taking 14 shots to get there; backup point guard Eric Maynor added 13; Russell Westbrook had 10 points and six assists.

The Pistons stayed close all night and had five players in double figures led by 22 from rookie big man Andre Drummond, by far the most points he's scored this season. His previous high was seven. Drummond also pulled down eight rebounds, tying his career high. Point guard Rodney Stuckey added 15 and center Greg Monroe dropped in 14 points, grabbed 10 rebounds and handed out six assists.

The Thunder seemed to lack energy at times, especially in the first quarter and just flat out struggled at other times. But they managed to play well enough to send the Pistons to their sixth straight loss to start the season.

QUOTABLE: "I thought we played good defense through the game. Serge just played inspired basketball at both ends. He's as good a mid-range shooter as we have. He's worked hard on that a lot."

--Thunder coach Scott Brooks

QUOTABLE II: "Our energy could have been better. We've just gotta fight through it. We have to find a way to do it for 48 minutes and that starts with me. We have high standards here and we've got to do a better job."

-- Kevin Durant

THE STAT: In the first quarter, OKC shot 27.3 percent overall (6-for-22) and 16.7 percent (1-for-6) on 3-pointers and scored just 18 points. In the fourth quarter, the Thunder shot 66.7 percent (10-for-15) overall, 50.0 percent (2-for-4) on 3-pointers and scored 31 points.

TURNING POINT: The fourth quarter iced the game. Detroit rallied from being down 14 points in the third quarter to trail by only five (74-69) going into the fourth quarter. The Thunder built the lead up to eight points then pulled away on a 3-ball from Maynor, a driving bank shot from Martin and a 15-foot step back jumper from Durant. OKC led by 16 with just less than six minutes left and Detroit didn't threaten again.

QUOTABLE III: "Bottom line, they were ready to play and we weren't. I didn't recognize our team tonight. We didn't come out with the approach that we normally do. We've got to have that fire and come out and compete."

--Pistons coach Lawrence Frank

HOT: In the second half, Ibaka was 7-for-8 (19 points). In the fourth quarter, Ibaka and Durant were a combined 5-for-5 (15 points). Drummond and Kyle Singler were a combined 4-for-5 (14 points) in the fourth quarter.

NOT: The Thunder started the game just 2-for-10 (20 percent) and finished the first quarter at just 26.1 percent (6-for-23). The 18 points OKC scored was the worst first quarter of the season so far for the Thunder. Durant (2-for-7) and Westbrook (0-for-5) were a combined 2-for-12 (five points) in the first quarter. Detroit wasn't much better, as the Pistons shot 38.1 percent (8-for-21) in the first 12 minutes. Martin finished 2-for-9 on 3-pointers.

INSIDE THE ARENA: It was a star-studded night in the court side seats at Chesapeake Energy Arena. Steven Tyler, the lead singer of Aerosmith, sat courtside. He and his legendary band rocked the house at The Peake last night. American Idol's Ryan Seacrest also sat on the floor along with Randy Jackson.

GOOD MOVE: Brooks put in the Thunder's entire second unit to start the second quarter and they responded, leading the Thunder on a nice run that put them in front. The starters had struggled in the first quarter on offense. The backups were a combined 7-for-10 (70.0 percent) and scored 18 points.

NOTABLE: With the loss, Detroit begins the season 0-6. That's the Pistons' worst start to a season since the 1979-80 team started 0-7. Ibaka's 25 points tonight, combined with the 21 he had Thursday, marks the first time he's had consecutive 20 point games. Ibaka has also increased his point production every game this season (4, 7, 14, 17, 21 & 25).

UP NEXT: For the Pistons, Saturday @ Houston, Monday vs. Oklahoma City, Wednesday @ Philadelphia. For the Thunder, Sunday vs. Cleveland, Monday @ Detroit, Wednesday vs. Memphis.