Thunder Hangs On For Win At Detroit

Sunday, December 7th 2014, 9:05 pm
By: News 9

Oklahoma City has yet to put it all together since Kevin Durant and the cavalry returned from injuries, but that hasn't seemed to matter just yet.

The Thunder won its fourth game in five game, sweating out a late Detroit rally to take down the Pistons, 96-94.

After suffering through so many close losses earlier in the season, the Thunder finally pulled out a close one. Sunday was the first game decided by five points or less where the Thunder has come out on top. It was also Scott Brooks' 300th win as coach of the Thunder.

Russell Westbrook missed a jump shot with 10 seconds left and Brandon Jennings grabbed the rebound, racing up the court looking for the tie. Instead of driving an empty lane, he kicked out to a wide open Josh Smith, who missed the 3-pointer with four seconds left to give OKC the ball back.

OKC led by as many as nine points in the fourth quarter, but went cold from the field down the stretch, allowing the Pistons to creep back into the game.

The first quarter looked much like Tuesday's loss to New Orleans. The Pistons put up 33 points on 55 percent shooting and went to the free throw line 13 times in the first quarter. They ended the first half with 55 points, but the good times wouldn't continue for the Pistons.

Oklahoma City recommitted itself to the defensive end in the second half and dominated the glass, winning the battle of the boards, 31-19. The biggest help for the Thunder was the offensive glass, where OKC gathered in 13 offensive rebounds, leading to 11 more shots for the Thunder in the second half.

Kevin Durant looked much more like his normal self on Sunday than he did Friday night in Philadelphia. Durant scored a game-high 28 points on 10-of-19 shooting. He was aggressive, getting to the free throw line eight times and also looked more in sync on his jump shots.

Westbrook had 22 points and 11 rebounds and one vicious dunk that nearly brought the house down. Serge Ibaka had a great game with 13 points and 13 rebounds, showing a bit of the inside presence the Thunder still do not consistently have.

Jeremy Lamb also had a nice game, chipping in 12 points off the bench.

Five Detroit players scored in double figures, led by Kentavious Caldwell-Pope's 19 points.

With the win, OKC has drawn to within just 4.5 games of the eighth playoff spot in the Western Conference. The Thunder is still six games under .500 and while it may be unlikely for OKC to get back to .500 by the end of the year, they will be really close when the calendar changes to 2015.

Everything is not back to normal for OKC just yet, but winning a close game on the road is another step in the right direction.