Across the Atlantic sea

The Thunder took on the Sixers in Manchester, England (England!), and from the pregame chatter, you’d probably conclude that this didn’t figure to be a hairy competition. Indeed, Kevin Durant took the fourth quarter off, OKC having gotten to an 83-74 lead after three. “Do not take us lightly,” Philadelphia replied during an 11-2 run to start that final frame, tying the game at 85-all. “Can too,” sniffed Reggie Jackson, who scored the Thunder’s next two buckets and assisted on the third; the Sixers never got within two again, and OKC gets to come home 2-0 in the preseason with a 103-99 win.

If Reggie had something to prove, I think he did: he rolled up 29 points on 10-17 from the field and 8-8 from the line, though he and his 3-point shot weren’t on speaking terms. (OKC generally was blah from beyond the arc, hitting a mere six of 22; Philly went 12-30.) Jeremy Lamb piled up more minutes than anyone, starting at the two instead of Thabo Sefolosha; he got seven points, which sounds Thabo-ish, and five turnovers, which doesn’t. And Serge Ibaka recorded the game’s only double-double: 18 points, 11 rebounds. Weirdly, KD didn’t get fouled all night; he got his 21 points on 9-18 shooting. More interesting, perhaps: Steven Adams, starting in the middle, and moving faster than Kendrick Perkins dreams of.

The Philadelphia starters were game, and four of five finished in double figures, but the guy who kept them in the game was sixth man Tony Wroten, who had a team-high 20 points including four of eight treys. Stalwart Evan Turner turned in a 19-point line, marred only by a 5-10 showing at the stripe. (Wroten hit all six of his freebies.) There are those who say this team is destined for the bottom. I have my doubts about that.

And so ends the European experiment for this season. The Thunder will be back at the ‘Peake a week from today, to greet the new-look Nuggets. As though the old-look Nuggets weren’t scary enough.





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