Kevin Durant lead all scorers with 38 points. Russell Westbrook added 30 points and 12 rebounds, while Ty Lawson lead Denver in scoring with 29 points. JJ Hickson ground his way to 18 points and 19 rebounds.
The Denver Nuggets opened the fourth quarter with a three pointer from Evan Fournier, extending their lead to 12 points. The rest of the quarter resembled the 1960's Batman television show. "JJ Hickson from the free throw line, KLANG!" "Wilson Chandler for three, THUD!" "Randy Foye from downtown, BOING!"
Oklahoma City opened the game 2-0 and didn't lead again until 4:11 remained in the final quarter 103-102. The key possession of the game came with 1:40 left in the game, tied at 105. Russell Westbrook missed two shots, but both were rebounded by Serge Ibaka. After the second miss, Ibaka kicked it out to Durant who nailed a dagger from downtown, 108-105 Thunder.
The game devolved into a free throw competition and Denver amazingly found themselves with one final chance to win or tie the game, trailing by two with 2.2 seconds remaining. They proceeded to take that opportunity, over throw that opportunity's intended target, then desperately chuck that opportunity at the hoop from 31 feet as time expired.
The Nuggets shot 11 more free throws than Oklahoma City, yet Denver made one less free throw for the game. 58% from the charity stripe is not good enough to win games on the road in the NBA.
Denver was out rebounded on the offensive glass, 19-10.
Blocks didn't end up as a major factor. In fact, early on Lawson was able to pull in multiple Thunder bigs allowing easy assists to unguarded Nuggets. Lawson was unable to penetrate in the fourth quarter and the offense stalled because of it.
Denver's bench was great in the first half and outscored OKC 42-31 during the game, but aside from Fournier no one off the bench factored into the game in the second half.
Kenneth Faried did his best Houdini impression and vanished for most of the game. He finished with 5 points and 6 rebounds.
Nate Robinson entered the game in the 2nd quarter with guns blazing. He began 3 for 3 from the field and added a steal that lead to a Fournier dunk. He quietly faded into the night after his grand entrance. Teasing us once again and leaving us hoping he'll save the day another time.
Robinson and the Nuggets were too often willing to settle for jumpers. It wasn't so bad in the first half when the shots were falling. But when the game tightened and the pressure mounted Denver clammed up. The offense wouldn't run, the attacking lanes closed, and open shots were unavailable. Oklahoma City was more than willing to foul any Nugget player approaching the basket, and Denver rewarded them by missing nearly half of their free throws. Tonight, a statement could have been made announcing that Denver had arrived after early growing pains. After the fourth quarter the only thing said was, "We are not ready."
Opposition's Take: Welcome to Loud City