CAVALIERS91
THUNDER106
5 Players who scored in double figures for the Thunder tonight. The Thunder is now 4-0 when five players reach double figures.

7 Blocked shots for Serge Ibaka, a season-high

10-for-16 Shooting numbers for Russell Westbrook, who scored 27 points and went 4-for-6 from three-point land

27-18 The amount by which the Thunder outscored the Cavaliers in the fourth quarter.

31 Fast break points for the Thunder on 12-for-13 shooting

41.0 Shooting percentage allowed by the Thunder defense, making it four straight games the Thunder's opponents have shot 42 percent or worse

46-30 Advantage in Points in the Paint for the Thunder, where they shot 23-for-31 and held Cleveland to 15-for-36

54.8 Shooting percentage for the Thunder on the night, a season-high, including 46.7 percent from the three point line

GAME IN REVIEW


RECAP:
Early on, the Cleveland Cavaliers made tough shot after tough shot and for the Thunder, the ball just couldn't find the bottom of the net.

The steady, mature Thunder squad headed by leaders like Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook didn't let that start phase them, and jumped out to a 20-4 run during the final six minutes of the first quarter to regain control in its 106-91 victory over the Cavs on Sunday night. With determination, grit and trust in one another, the Thunder didn't waver when things weren't going its way, and saw that self-confidence rewarded.

"We stayed with it," Durant said. "We didn't get discouraged from that, we just kept playing, kept having faith in our defense and it came through for us tonight."

On the defensive side of the ball, the Thunder settled in and began to lock their guys down. Over the course of the night the Cavaliers shot only 41 percent from the field, making it the fourth straight game a Thunder opponent has shot lower than 42 percent. The Thunder's defensive anchor, Kendrick Perkins, said when teammates make hard-nosed, hustle plays, it sparks everyone else on the team.

"I think it's a chain reaction," Perkins said. "You see one guy dive on the floor, you see one guy show hard on the pick and roll or a guy square the ball up and play good one on one D, then you see other guys kind of follow the lead."

One of the defensive standouts tonight was Serge Ibaka, who recorded a season-high seven blocked shots while altering the course of many others with his quickness and length. Like a free safety in football, Ibaka quickly and efficiently slid over in help-side defense to protect the rim and force the Cavaliers into shooting only 41.7 percent from inside the paint.

"At one point it seemed like those guys were a little hesitant to go to the basket," Durant said. "That's the type of protector we need. He was great for us. He makes up for a lot of mistakes… That's the sign of a great defender and I'm glad he's on our team."

On the offensive side of the ball, Russell Westbrook stole the show with a scintillating nine consecutive points as a part of his 27-point, 10-assist effort. Westbrook banked in a 31-footer to end the third quarter, giving the Thunder a major emotional boost before the Thunder leader and point guard proceeded to nail two more three-pointers to give Head coach Scott Brooks' team a 12-point advantage that was secure for the rest of the night.

"I thought he (Westbrook) was good tonight," Brooks said. "He had a good offensive game going. Defensively he was really solid and sound. It's a five-man defense in pick-and-rolls. You have to really engage in those two guys up top and Russell did a good job of engaging on the ball."

Not only was Westbrook in a groove offensively, it seemed as though the entire Thunder squad had things going this evening. Kevin Durant, Kevin Martin, Serge Ibaka and Kendrick Perkins each scored in double figures, making the Thunder 4-0 this year when five-or-more players score in double figures. The Thunder has now accomplished that feat four times in seven games, something it only did 11 times in 66 games last season. When the Thunder moves the ball, shares it well and has scoring distribution, it can be a recipe for success.

"That should be us nightly, four or five guys should be in double figures every night," Martin said. "We have great offensive players on this team, and when we're unselfish and not turning the ball over, that can happen on a nightly basis."

Thunder Food Drive

Tonight's food drive, with the assistance of Homeland, raised 5000 pounds of food. That is enough for nearly 4,000 meals for OKC families for the Holidays. The Governor's Food Drive helped kick off the Thunder's 2012 Holiday Assist.

Turning Point:
There were two turning points in this one for the Thunder. The first game in the first quarter as the Thunder trailed 17-7, but went on a 20-4 run to close out the quarter, taking a 27-21 lead on a Kevin Martin buzzer-beating runner heading into the second quarter.

The second turning point came in the final seconds of the third quarter, when Russell Westbrook heaved a 31-foot buzzer-beating bank shot to beat the clock. That shot, along with two more Westbrook three-pointers to start the fourth quarter stretched a narrow three-point advantage into a 12-point one at 85-73 with 10:13 left in the game. The Thunder never led by fewer than nine the rest of the way.

"I just tried to stay in attack mode, keep us going and get the crowd involved," Westbrook said. "I think we're doing a good job of keeping teams under a certain amount of points per quarter. At the same time we're making shots… Everybody is making tough shots, big shots and guys are making their open shots."

Plays the box score won't show, first half:
Ibaka smartly tips a defensive rebound to a teammate. Collison takes two big steps to convert expertly from the Dunker Spot. Tough finish at the rim through contact by Perkins on a layup plus the foul.

Plays the box score won't show, second half:
Sefolosha makes a nasty pump fake with the ball to shake his defender and score in transition. Ibaka saves the day with a perfect defensive rotation to swat a shot away, eventually resulting in a 24-second violation. Incredible toughness and concentration on a two-handed floater by Westbrook in the lane. Ibaka stays tough and forces a jump ball, that he wins.



"We were good throughout the game and we turned it up, I think, in the fourth. Our second group was great tonight at setting the tone." – Kevin Durant