The man behind Daily Thunder asked this last night:
What happens first: The Warriors lose a game or the Sixers win one?
— Royce Young (@royceyoung) November 13, 2015
The Sixers got off to a 24-18 first-quarter lead over the temporarily (we hope) Durant-less Thunder, and maybe Young got a little antsy. (Anthony Morrow got the start in KD’s place.) Eventually OKC righted itself, led by five at the half, and blew it open after that. There wasn’t quite as much offense as the home crowd was used to seeing — mostly, the Thunder shot below 40 percent — but there was pretty fair defense: Serge Ibaka blocked seven shots, and Philadelphia came up with exactly three fast-break points for the night. And there was Russell Westbrook, who put up yet another triple-double (21 points / 17 rebounds / 11 assists), adding a smidgen of credence to the notion that Westbrook is at his best when Durant is wearing a suit. (The seventeen rebounds, incidentally, constitute a career high.) The Sixers, derided as a motley collection of rookies and D-Leaguers, played with a fair amount of spirit, but not enough to avoid their ninth straight loss — or their nineteenth, if you count their 0-10 collapse at the end of last season. Oklahoma City 102, Philadelphia 85, and we will try not to notice that the Thunder won three, lost three, and then won three. OKC dominated most of the statistical categories, and kept the turnovers down to 11, about half what they were giving up earlier in the season.
There were signs of life in the Sixers: Nerlens Noel, doubtful before gametime, turned out to be available, and led all Philly scorers with 13 while collecting 11 rebounds. Vaunted rookie center Jahlil Okafor was held to six points on 3-18 shooting. Unheralded (and undrafted) rookie point guard T. J. McConnell looked pretty good, if pretty raw. Still, the Sixers are 0 and 9, and face the Spurs in San Antonio tomorrow, which doesn’t look like an opportunity to improve on that record. The Warriors, who have tonight off, are still 10-0. And the Celtics will be in OKC on Sunday.