THE FACTS: The Oklahoma City Thunder are usually in a foul mood after a loss and that was once again the case Friday night as OKC won for the sixth time in seven games following a defeat by drilling the Philadelphia 76ers 109-85 behind a combined 53 points from Russell Westbrook (27) and Kevin Durant (26). Westbrook was 10-for-17, including 4-for-4 on 3-pointers.
The Thunder used a big second half to bury the Sixers who were playing their third road game in four nights.
Philadelphia was led by Nick Young who came off the bench to score 21 points and was 5-for-7 on threes. But the 76ers, who had scored 90 points or more only once in the four games before tonight could not get there again. They had three other players in double figures. Jrue Holiday hit for 15 but was just 1-for-6 on 3-pointers. Holiday did hand out nine assists though and Dorell Wright came off the bench to score 11 and Thaddeus Young managed 10 points.
The Thunder had four players in double figures in addition to Durant and Westbrook Serge Ibaka had his sixth double-double with 15 points and 10 rebounds and sharp-shooter Kevin Martin broke out of a minor slump to score 16 points on 5-for-9 shooting (4-for-4) from long range.
It was a big night overall for the Thunder from downtown (10-for-17, 58.8 percent) on threes. And after a bad night on defense in Wednesday's loss to Brooklyn the Thunder held Philadelphia to just 40.5 percent shooting.
QUOTABLE: "I liked the way we started defensively, I thought we were good with that for all four quarters and that's what we wanted to do. We wanted activity on the ball and we didn't wanna get beat off the dribble."
--Thunder head coach Scott Brooks
QUOTABLE II: "It (the defense) was much better tonight. We were fighting over screens and contesting shots, it was great and just what we needed after the last game."
--Thunder forward Nick Collison
THE STAT: The Thunder defense was steady all night long and was especially tough in the fourth quarter, holding Philly to just 35.0 percent shooting but the Thunder offense was also clicking, especially in the second half when OKC outscored the Sixers 63-43 by shooting 63.9 percent overall and 72.7 percent (8-for-11) on 3-pointers.
TURNING POINT: A 9-2 Thunder run, sparked by a couple of Westbrook steals, in the middle of the third quarter extended a tenuous three-point lead out to 10 and Oklahoma City maintained a double digit lead the rest of the way.
QUOTABLE III: "We fell asleep on their 3-point shooters, we gave them about six threes where our guys didn't stay locked in but we were still kinda hanging around and they made that one big push, 63 points we gave to them in the second half."
--76ers head coach Doug Collins
HOT: Westbrook was 4-for-6 (10 points) in the first quarter...Young was 4-for-5 (eight points) at halftime. ... Holiday and Jason Richardson were 4-for-5 in the second half. ... Martin was 4-for-5 (4-for-4 on threes) in the final 24 minutes...OKC was 12-for-17 (70.6 percent) in the third quarter.
NOT: The 76ers opened the game shooting 37.5 percent (9-for-24) in the first quarter and had improved only slightly to 39.5 percent by halftime. ...Spencer Hawes was 3-for-11.
INSIDE THE ARENA: With the University of Oklahoma football team playing on the Cotton Bowl just three and a half hours south of OKC, a few Thunder fans opted to for football over basketball but only a few. Chesapeake Energy Arena was sold out and there appeared to be only a hundred or so no-shows. Country music star Vince Gill, who grew up in Oklahoma City, sat courtside.
GOOD MOVE: After starting poorly on defense Wednesday night against Brooklyn, Oklahoma City was in lockdown mode against the Sixers, holding them to 37.5 percent shooting and just 21 points in the first quarter while forcing five turnovers. For the game the Sixers gave it away 20 times and the Thunder scored 24 points off those turnovers.
BAD MOVE: One of Coach Collins' goals before the game was to limit the Thunder's, and especially Durant's, trips to the free throw line. His team wasn't able to get that done in the first half as OKC was 12-for-15 at the stripe and Durant was 6-for-6. For the game Oklahoma City got to the line 27 times and hit 21 (77.8 percent).
NOTABLE: OKC is now 6-1 (.857) following losses this season (lost to Brooklyn Wednesday) and going back to the 2010-11 season Oklahoma City is 41-10 (.804) after losses.
UP NEXT: For the 76ers, Saturday @ San Antonio, Tuesday vs. Brooklyn, Wednesday @ Toronto. For the Thunder, Sunday @ Toronto, Monday @ Washington, Wednesday vs. Minnesota.