It really looked like things could get ugly in Denver, as the Thunder trailed the Nuggets by 12 points in the second quarter while OKC’s energy level look to be as thin as the air they were breathing. But fortunately for the Thunder, a run was on the horizon and OKC was able to improve their winning streak to five straight by beating the Nuggets 110-104.
Trailing 37-25 with 10:57 left in the second frame, Thunder head coach Billy Donovan decided it was time for a timeout, and that breakage of play was the best thing to happen to OKC in the first half. Rookie Cameron Payne assisted on an easy basket to Steven Adams out of the timeout, and after a defensive stop, Kyle Singler drilled a 3-pointer to bring his team within seven points.
As the quarter went on, the OKC run continued as they outscored Denver 28-to-13 the rest of the frame and took a 57-53 lead into intermission.
Denver came to play after halftime, and a group effort from the Nuggets’ starters put Denver ahead 68-63, but once again, the Thunder had a run in them and OKC outscored the home-team 26-to-16 throughout the rest of the third. Russell Westbrook had a huge part in that turnaround, and the point guard totaled 12 points in the quarter.
Similarly to the first three quarters, the Nuggets started the fourth off on the right foot to get back within three points, but Westbrook entered the game not long after and OKC’s lead blossomed as a result with the road team finishing with a six-point win.
Durant, Westbrook and Kanter were phenomenal all night for the Thunder, with Durant scoring 30 points and grabbing 12 rebounds. Westbrook added 27 points and 12 assists, while Kanter was a beast in the paint with 25 points and eight rebounds.
Danilo Gallinari led the Nuggets with 27 points and Kenneth Faried scored 17 and grabbed 15 rebounds.
Oklahoma City will have a quick turnaround and will be back in action on Wednesday night at home against the Charlotte Hornets (19-22).