The low this morning in Oklahoma City was -3° F (-19° C), but no matter: the Thunder knew they’d get a warm reception at the ‘Peake, and hey, it’s not like Denver is particularly warm this time of year. The Nuggets do one thing exceptionally well, and that’s the retrieval of rebounds; their sheer prowess on the boards kept them more or less dead even during the first two quarters, after which the Thunder began to wear them down. Denver tried to buy some time by fouling Andre Roberson and/or Steven Adams, but that didn’t last long, and OKC, having lost three in a row on the road, get back home with a W over the Nuggets, 121-106, their second of the season with two games to go.
Denver did gather the majority of rebounds, 53-49, and they were less inept than the Thunder from the three-point line (9-24 versus 12-36), but OKC dominated the rest of the statistics, including this startler: eleven blocks, with Adams and Jerami Grant swatting four each. It must be conceded that Wilson Chandler is downright scary coming off the bench: tonight he nailed 24 points on 10-18 from the floor. Will Barton, in place of Gary Harris, led the starters with 22, and four other Nuggets scored in double figures. Meanwhile, Russell Westbrook, chastised a few times this season for jacking up a dozen treys and missing most of them, this time jacked up a dozen treys and made seven on his way to yet another triple-double, 32-17-11. Four other Thundermen did the double-digit thing, with Enes Kanter, as usual, leading with 14.
This is the first Thunder home game of January. There will be only two more. First comes a trip to Chicago on Monday; home game #2, on Wednesday, is against the scary Memphis Grizzlies; and then there are six in a row on the road: Minnesota, Sacramento, Los Angeles (the Clippers), Golden State, Utah, and New Orleans. It’s going to be a long, long month.