Game Recap: Thunder 101, Nuggets 94

News and notes following the Thunder’s 101-94 win over the Denver Nuggets:

  • The Thunder had lost seven games in a row in Denver and Kevin Durant had never won inside the Pepsi Center but that all changed Tuesday night. “I had that in the back of my mind,” Durant said right after the game, “That’s a good win for us.”
  • Maybe a great win considering the Nuggets were 31-7 at home and had won 10 straight in the Pepsi Center. “I don’t care what happened up here last year or two years ago or when we were in Seattle,” said Thunder Head Coach Scott Brooks. “I know we just lost by five up here earlier because Carmelo (Anthony) was hitting everything he put up.”
  • Oklahoma City now moves out four games ahead of Denver for the Northwest Division Championship with just five games left to play. “Almost isn’t good until you actually get it,” said Brooks of the Division title possibilities. “This was a good win for us,” said Thunder point guard Russell Westbrook, “And we needed it. We gave away two games we should have won so this was good.”
    “Tonight we came back (from those losses) and played well.” Brooks said. “Even if we had lost I would have been proud.”
  • Durant with 32 points to lead the way, he also had nine rebounds. Kendrick Perkins (14) and Serge Ibaka (11) combine for 25 rebounds while controlling the paint. The Thunder out-rebounded the Nuggets 50-41.
  • Eric Maynor also had a big night with 10 points and three assists, he played a major role in a 16-0 OKC run stretching from the third quarter into the fourth. "Maynor came in and did a really good job of steadying us," Brooks said, "I thought he was flawless while he was in there."
  • Russell Westbrook pumped in 18 points and James Harden added 13 for the Thunder.
  • Great start for Oklahoma City. Thunder leads 27-16 at the end of the first quarter. OKC shooting 56.5% and holding the Nuggets to just 35%.
  • Kevin Durant with 12 first quarter points on 6-for-9 shooting.
  • Denver goes on an 18-7 run over the last five minutes of the first half to jump back into the things at halftime. Thunder up 48-47 at the break. KD leading the way with 17 points on 9-for-12 shooting.
  • OKC outshooting Denver 48.8% to 44.2%, also out-rebounding the Nuggets 22-20.
  • Rough third quarter offensively for Oklahoma City but the Thunder finish the quarter by hitting three of itslast four shots to lead 69-67 after three. Defense still playing well well though.
  • Oklahoma City with a 16-0 run in the fourth quarter to get some breathing room.
  • The Thunder is now 20-6 in games played after a loss. Kevin Durant has scored 30 or more points 27 times this season.

PLAYS THE BOX SCORE WON’T SHOW: Kendrick Perkins defending Nene on the first possession and forces him into a travel...The Kevin Durant comes comes down to hit a jumper on Nene for a good start...Thunder with good defense to start, Nuggets just 1-for-4 in the first three minutes...Three blocked shots by the Thunder in the early going, two of them by Ibaka...Nuggets have not been able to run much early, no transition baskets in the first seven minutes...Nick Collison stuffs Danillo Gallinari along the side and forces a turnover...Two possessions later it’s Collison again this time taking a charge...Thunder defense has forced six Denver turnovers in the first nine minutes...Collison drives into the lane, drawing three defenders, then fires a pass out to a wide open Eric Maynor for a 3-pointer...Durant comes off a couple of screens on the right side taking most of the Denver defense with him. That move opens up the lane for Russell Westbrook who lays it in...Collison dishes his fourth assists of the game halfway through the second quarter. That ties his season-high...Collison with a big offensive board and then the basket late in the third...Good defense on J.R. Smith who turns it over triggering a fastbreak with James Harden getting the bucket...Ibaka gets a big offensive rebound early in the fourth and then the putback...Ibaka forces Ty Lawson to alter a shot and he misses...Ibaka, on the next possession, alters Nene’s shot and he misses too...And on the next possession Ibaka blocks a shot. Serge taking over defensively late in the game...Russell Westbrook with a behind the back block on Felton...

STATS WORTH REPEATING: Durant with 32 points to lead the way, he also had nine rebounds. Kendrick Perkins (14) and Serge Ibaka (11) combine for 25 rebounds while controlling the paint. The Thunder out-rebounded the Nuggets 50-41.

LAST WORD: “They do good things on defense and we didn’t wanna settle for jump shots.” said Brooks, “We wanted to attack the basket. Tonight was a test for us and we played a physical, tough game against a physical, tough team. You don’t get better by playing soft teams teams who’ve quit trying. You get better by playing teams like Denver and I was proud of us tonight.”

UP NEXT: The Thunder will finally be back home Wednesday night hosting Blake Griffin and the Los Angeles Clippers. Tip-off is set for 7 p.m. inside Oklahoma City Arena. You can watch all the action on Fox Sports Oklahoma or listen in on the Thunder Radio Network.