The Thunder won their fifth straight game 110-94 this afternoon against the Sacramento Kings. Oklahoma City got off to a hot start and never really cooled down after that. Just about everyone contributed in this win, but it wouldn’t have been possible without the play of the Thunder bench. Oklahoma City held a double-digit lead throughout the first half, and never trailed.
Oklahoma City didn’t quite have the same success for the second half, but it was still more than enough to get the win. While it wasn’t the same, it was still a good half for the Thunder both on offense and defense. They were able to get everyone involved and score in so many ways that it was nearly impossible for the Kings to stop. Sacramento made a last minute push, but the Thunder veterans quickly shut it down and finished this one with ease.
Bench Has Huge Game
The Thunder played great as a team this afternoon from top to bottom. Everyone that checked into this game did his part. During an outing where the starters didn’t score as much as usual, the bench certainly picked up the slack. The second unit combined for 45 points and shot well over 50% from the floor. Anytime that this second unit can come in and pick up where the starters left off, the Thunder will be in a great spot to come out on top.
The Thunder’s second unit is usually led by Enes Kanter, but today newcomer Doug McDermott took charge. McDermott recorded 21 points on 8-9 shooting, which is the most he has scored with Oklahoma City. His ability to enter the game and immediately spot up and shoot from the corner makes the second unit so much harder to defend. It seems as if McDermott might be getting into rhythm here in Oklahoma City at the right time.
Big Kiwi Records Double-Double
Steven Adams had himself an amazing outing with 16 points and 13 rebounds. Adams usually finds more than one way to impact a game. Even when his scoring isn’t there, he serves as a big physical body on the inside for the Thunder. Whether or not you see it, he wears down the opposing team with his physical play inside. When he can add games like this one to his physical play, it helps out the team tremendously. Adams is a guy who is continuing to grow as a young player, and it will be exciting to see where his potential maxes out.
After the win today, the Thunder are currently tied for the 5th seed in the Western Conference. If the Thunder were to finish in that seeding, it would put them against the Utah Jazz in the first round of the playoffs. This matchup favors Oklahoma City more than any of the other possibilities, as the Thunder have beaten the Jazz three out of the four times the two teams have played this season.
A lot of times it isn’t the teams that have the best records that make playoff pushes, it’s the teams that starting heating up and finding their rhythm at the right time. Considering the Thunder is currently on a five game winning streak, it looks as if they may be peaking at the right time. If Oklahoma City can continue to perform like they have, they could be a force to reckon with in the post-season.
Warriors Back In Town
The Thunder will be back in action again on Monday night as they take on the Golden State Warriors at home. Even though Kevin Durant will not be playing due to injury, this will still be a highly anticipated matchup. The game will take place at the Peake and will tip-off at 7:00 PM CST. It will be televised on TNT and broadcast on the radio at WWLS 98.1 FM.
Article written by Craig Hofeld. Follow @TheThunderGuys on Twitter and Instagram.