If your idea of great basketball is seeing a three-point shot go down, you’d have loved this game: the Thunder put up 24 of them and made 12, while the 76ers got 14 of 23. But while the shooting was about equally effective on both sides, Oklahoma City did some serious board control, outrebounding Philadelphia 43-29 18 off the offensive glass, yet and the Thunder posted their tenth win in eighteen games, 117-106 over a Philly squad that led at halftime and stayed close through most of the third quarter.
Much of the Sixers’ offense was provided by A.I., and that means Andre Igoudala. (Allen Iverson has signed with Philadelphia, but likely won’t see action until next week.) Igoudala was good for 28 points; fellow forward Thaddeus Young contributed 20; Elton Brand, playing sixth man these days, got 13. Rookie point guard Jrue Holiday scored 15, his career high.
The Thunder had five players in double figures, including the much-missed Nick Collison, who returned from a knee ailment with an 18-point, seven-rebound performance in 21 minutes off the bench. Also returning from an injury and then developing a new one was Nenad Krstić, who dropped in 12 points. Thabo Sefolosha also had 12; Jeff Green knocked down 19. Russell Westbrook managed only seven points, but served up 15 assists, a personal record. The Durantula finished with a slightly-above-average 33 points.
Two more games in this homestand: the Celtics will be here Friday night, the Warriors on Monday. Boston will of course be tough; then again, the Thunder somehow are 6-1 against teams from the East. And when Golden State arrives, expect another shotfest: that’s what they do.