Although the game went to overtime, it was the wild third quarter that the outcome of the game hinged on. The Thunder had only mustered 38 points in the first half. Kevin Durant had found a new career low: only two points in the first half.
Credit Donovan and his squad’s adjustments to making sure the second half went better. The first play out of the half was a set play for Durant who knocked down a jump shot, and OKC got their groove back from there.
Despite the third quarter outburst and 16 point comeback from the Thunder, it still took overtime for OKC to put away Utah for the second time in three nights, 104-98.
Russell Westbrook was also instrumental for OKC. He had 25 points, 11 rebounds and five assists. Russ limited his turnovers (just one) and also contributed two steals and two blocks. He did, however, struggle as Durant did with shooting, going 9 for 25 on the night.
Arguably the play of the night came toward the end of regulation. Down by three, Kevin Durant found Serge Ibaka in the corner with a cross-court pass. Ibaka pump-faked, sidestepped the incoming airborne Trevor Booker, and stuck the three pointer. OKC held Utah to just two points in overtime as they held on to win the game.
“We didn’t start out so well,” Durant said, “but that’s why there’s two halves of basketball.” Indeed. Durant ended up with 31 points, 29 of them in the second half. Dion Waiters and Enes Kanter added 13 and 10 points, respectively.
The Thunder improve to 16-8, third in the West. Utah falls to 10-12. Next up for the Thunder: the Portland Trail Blazers visit Chesapeake Energy Arena Wednesday, December 16th.