Kevin Durant’s sore shoulder evidently didn’t stay so for long: he played 44 minutes tonight at Philadelphia, and you’d never know he’d been away for a whole day. The 76ers put up a fight, grabbing just as many rebounds (44) as the Thunder, including a whopping 19 off the offensive glass, getting them some second-chance and even third-chance points, but it didn’t matter: KD was working up a triple-double got it, too, with 32 points, 14 rebounds, and ten assists and in the face of this statistical storm, maybe losing 103-91 isn’t quite so bad for the Sixers.
Philly did get a fair amount of offense going, led by swingman James Anderson, the Oklahoma State product, who picked up 19 points, just under twice his season average. Thaddeus Young recorded a double-double, with 13 points and ten boars; Evan Turner and Spencer Hawes also hit double figures. But 34-90 shooting does not win games, even if it occasionally gives you second-chance points, and especially if the opposition bags six more makes on 14 fewer attempts.
This is not to say that the Thunder were a well-oiled offensive machine running at its peak: while they did hit 52 percent, they were a woeful 4-21 on three-pointers. (Still, the Sixers were woefuller, hitting four of 27.) But with KD’s 32, 25 from Serge Ibaka (and five blocks), 12 from Nick Collison to lead the bench well, the number that stands out is +17, recorded by Derek Fisher in 21 minutes despite clanking four out of five shots. It wouldn’t be the first time the offense seemed to show up just because the defense needed something to do every other possession.
If nothing else, it was a clean game; no shouting matches, no second-guessing the officials, and nobody got T’d up for anything. And this happened in Philadelphia, folks.
Next: a single home game, against the Hawks on Monday, followed by a three-games-in-four-days road trip: Miami, Brooklyn and Washington.