Game Recap: Thunder 104, Pistons 94

News and notes following the Thunder’s 104-94 win:

  • The Thunder built an 18-point lead, then had to hold on against the Pistons. A Serge Ibaka block on “Rip” Hamilton in the last seconds provides an nice exclamation point. “This is a good win on our home floor,” Thunder Head Coach Scott Brooks said. “We were solid with the ball on offense. Twenty-five assists to just nine turnovers, those are good numbers. We found open shooters and made shots.”

  • But Brooks was not real happy with the way the Thunder started the game on defense -- allowing Detroit to shoot 58.8 percent from the field. “I thought our defense in the first quarter was not very good," he said. "I know you guys have heard that one before, but as the game went on we got stops when we needed them.”

  • The defense picked it up in the second quarter, holding the Pistons to less than 50 percent from the field. The Thunder offense got more aggressive at the same time, getting to the free-throw line 12 times in the second quarter and making 11 of them. That keyed a 33-point quarter and a 55-50 OKC lead at halftime. “I thought the halftime lead was big for us,” Brooks said.

  • Kevin Durant had a rough first quarter (1-for-7) but he was nearly perfect the rest of the way (5-for-6). He ended with 24 points but also pulled down nine rebounds, dished five assists and stole the ball three times. “Sixteen and nine, those are his (Durant’s) rebound numbers the last two games,” noted Brooks. “He’s not just a shot-maker, he’s a play-maker.”

  • Thunder hit three consecutive 3-pointers late in the third quarter, two from James Harden and one from Thabo Sefolosha, to take a 86-75 lead going into the final quarter. “We got everybody involved,” Durant said. “Everybody gets a touch and just like any sport, once you get a few baskets you start to feel good about yourself. Everybody was energetic on the offensive end. Defense could have been a lot better. We got stops when we needed to and had energy in spurts. It was enough to get us through but we’ve got to be better.”

  • Harden was 4-for-4 early in the fourth quarter from long range. He finished the game with 22 points. “I didn’t go to James and tell him we needed more points out of him after we traded Jeff (Green),” Brooks said. “But now we’re just finding more opportunities for him, 3-pointers, back-door cuts. He just has to keep making good plays.”

    “My teammates are looking for me,” Harden said, “especially on back-door cuts coming off pin downs. Eric (Maynor), Russell (Westbrook) and Kevin (Durant) do a good job of finding the guys and that’s what makes this team so special, we have several guys that can create for others.”


PLAYS THE BOX SCORE WON’T SHOW: Thabo Sefolosha, being guarded by Tracy McGrady in the corner, makes a nice move around McGrady to drive the baseline. He puts up a reverse layup that misses, Nazr Mohammed misses the follow but Serge Ibaka grabs the rebound to keep the possession alive leading to a Thunder basket. ... Nice defense by Sefolosha on McGrady in the first quarter, preventing McGrady from getting a pass from Chris Wilcox. When T-Mac finally did get the ball he missed the shot with Sefolosha’s hand in his face. ... Great hustle by Russell Westbrook to track down a long rebound off a Kevin Durant miss, Westbrook then fired a bullet pass to a wide open James Harden who hit a 3. ... Serge Ibaka showing a nice little baby hook in the second quarter as he drives on the baseline, comes into the restricted area and puts it up and in. ... Durant knocks the ball away from the Pistons late in the second, races down court and passes to Westbrook, who gets the ball back to KD for a slam. ... Durant grabs another rebound to key a fast break in the last seconds of the quarter, he passes to Westbrook who is all alone and goes up for a windmill slam that brings the crowd roaring to its feet. ... Nick Collison draws a charge from Austin Daye that takes two points off the board.

STATS WORTH REPEATING: Durant was 1-for-7 in the first quarter and 5-for-6 the rest of the game. He finished with 24 points, nine rebounds, five assists and three steals. ... Oklahoma City handed out 25 assists while committing just nine turnovers. ... During a four-minute stretch from late in the third quarter to early in the fourth, the Thunder outscored Detroit, 17-5.

UP NEXT: The Thunder hits the road for a three-game trip. First stop is Cleveland on Sunday for an early afternoon game. Tip-off is set for noon (Central) at Quicken Loans Arena. You can see all the action on Fox Sports Oklahoma or listen in on the Thunder Radio Network.