Oklahoma City Thunder hang tough in the fourth to overcome Philadelphia 76ers 92-88 -NBA Recap
Courtesy of All-Star duo of Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook, Oklahoma City Thunder saw out the resurgent Philadelphia 76ers 92-88, by using a late surge in the 4th quarter.
Kevin Durant scored a game high 23 points while Russell Westbrook netted 22 and recorded a season high 13 rebounds that included 7 on the offensive glass.
“From the point guard position, it's just amazing." The All-Star later exclaimed.
James Harden had 16 and Serge Ibaka chipped in with 10 points and 8 boards as Oklahoma City grabbed their 6th straight win. They connected on 38.5% from the floor and 76.5% from the charity stripe and were less successful with their shooting as compared to Philadelphia who netted 41.1% and 83.3% respectively.
For Philadelphia, Andre Iguodala and Jrue Holiday netted 18 apiece while Thaddeus Young had 16 points and 9 rebounds. Guard Jodie Meeks recorded 13 and Louis Williams chipped in 11points coming off the bench. Elton Brand also had 10 points and 10 rebounds, which ironically were not enough to avoid the 15th loss of season.
Thunder improved to 13-6 on road after the win, in which there were 13 ties and 11 lead changes. “It was sloppy at times but we stuck together and hung tight”. A relieved Thunder coach Scott Brooks said afterwards.
Sixers opened the game with a 9-4 run but Thunder replied that with 12 unanswered points to take a 16-9 lead with 5:43 in hand. The hosts neutralized that by pulling off another 7-0 run that tied the score at 16 each. With 6:31 left in the 2nd frame the scores were tied at 38 each, Iguodala netted the next 6 out of 10 points for Sixers while Thunders concluded the segment with 8-0 run taking a 53-48 lead as the game entered into the half time.
Durant and Turner had some action on the court as they exchanged shoves they received technical fouls with 36.2 seconds remaining in the 2nd stanza. The 3rd period was the lowest shooting quarter for Thunder as they went ice cold in it.
Sixers took full advantage of the opportunity and reeled off a 15-2 spurt early in the frame. By doing that, they not only clawed off the deficit but placed themselves ahead of the guests with 63-55 advantage.
Thunder netted the next 5 points to reduce the deficit to 3 points with 63-60. The Sixers stretched their lead to 67-63 by the end of the frame. Harden opened the last frame with a freebie that was followed by jumper reducing the gap to 1 point 66-67, but with 11:15 left on the clock, the Sixers left them away with a 7-0 run to take a 74-66 advantage.
Thunder hit back with 6 successive points and narrowed the gap at 74-72.The game kept on shifting back and forth until it came down to the last 1:37 seconds of the game with Thunders in the lead 88-85.
Sixers missed the next 11 straight field goals and with only 10.8 clicks left Durant hit a freebie stretching the lead to 89-85. Iguodala sent the crowd into frenzy as he hit one from down town with only 5.9 seconds remaining that brought the scores close at 89-88.
But with three consecutive free throws Oklahoma sealed the fate of Sixers and banked home a 92-88 victory.