Kevin Durant's return to the lineup didn't result in a win Tuesday in New Orleans, but Friday night in Philadelphia, Oklahoma City picked up a win basically without him.
The Thunder, armed with a complete roster for the first time this year, shot nearly 50 percent and cruised to a business-like win over the 76ers, 103-91.
After scoring 27 points in his first game back on Tuesday, Durant scored just 10 points on Friday, shooting just 3-of-11 from the field and looking a touch out of things. Durant didn't get his 10th point until just 2:40 remained in the game. The layup extended his streak of scoring in double figures to 407 games. The last time he scored 10 points or fewer was in 2009.
The good thing was the Thunder didn't need a fully engaged Durant to get by the hapless 76ers. The Thunder got a great performance from everyone and another huge showing from the bench, which racked up 38 points.
Russell Westbrook led the Thunder with 27 points and Serge Ibaka added 19 points. The duo combined to go 17-of-22 from the free throw line, a great sign for the rest of the season.
Off the bench, Jeremy Lamb continued his great play by scoring 15 points on 6-of-7 shooting. Reggie Jackson added 11 points. In the last four games, Lamb is averaging 16 points and has hit 10-of-12 from 3-point range. That's a big boost for the Thunder, which needs Lamb to join with Jackson off the bench and give the starting unit as much help as possible.
Six Philadelphia players scored in double figures, led by Robert Covington's 21 points off the bench. Philadelphia did most of their damage on the offensive glass, collecting 19 offensive rebounds which helped the 76ers put up 13 more shots than the Thunder. Michael Carter-Williams also dished out 14 assists.
It would have been very easy for the Thunder to lean on its stars once the whole team came back from injuries. But through two games, the identity the Thunder forged without Durant and Westbrook has held together. Everyone is contributing and except for Tuesday against New Orleans, the defense has been solid as well.
It's a formula that has to stick if the Thunder wants to climb out of the hole the injuries left them with.