Kevin Durant and the red hot Oklahoma City Thunder (20-4) torched the Denver Nuggets in their second meeting of the 2013-14 season. Behind Durant’s 30 points and 6 Reb, the Thunder won 105-93 on Dec. 17 at the Pepsi Center.
Serge Ibaka scored the first eleven points for the Thunder, but they trailed the Nuggets 12-11 with 6:47 left in the first quarter. Durant didn’t get his first bucket until 5:47 when he scored with a tear-drop in the paint. The Thunder shot 55 percent (11-20 FG) and led the Nuggets 29-24 after one. Ibaka led all scorers with 13 Pts (5-5 FG, 3-4 FT) and 3 Reb. Ty Lawson had a solid first quarter for the Nuggets with 5 Pts, 4 Ast and 2 Stl. Seven different players scored for the Nuggets in the first.
The Thunder started the second quarter on a 8-1 run–the Nuggets missed their first seven shots. Kenneth Faried proved the Nuggets only option on offense as he scored seven in the quarter. As a whole, the Nuggets shot 38.8 percent from the field in the first half to the Thunder’s 47.8 percent. Faried led the Nuggets with 11 Pts, and Ibaka led the Thunder with 15 Pts. JJ Hickson had the best half for the Nuggets with 10 Pts, 9 Reb and 1 Blk. Half: Nuggets 44, Thunder 52.
Wilson Chandler opened the second half by hitting a three and finishing a layup. Chandler would score nine of the Nuggets first eleven points shortening the deficit to 55-58 with 8:47 left in the third. Lawson notched his double-double at 8:44 with his 10th assist (he already had 10 Pts). After scoring 12 Pts in the third, Durant led the Thunder with 26 Pts. Faried and Hickson each led Denver with 13 Pts. After three: Nuggets 75, Thunder 65.
In the fourth quarter, the Nuggets struggled to cut the deficit early-on. However, in a nine second span–with 7:35 left in the game–Nate Robinson hit consecutive threes to make it 83-77. After Robinson’s threes, the Thunder went on a 15-2 run to put the game out of reach. Final: Nuggets 93, Thunder 105. Durant led the way with 30 Pts for the Thunder while Hickson finished the high-man for the Nuggets with 20 Pts and 14 Reb.
-Durant and Russell Westbrook are the highest scoring duo in the NBA averaging 49.5 points between them. They combined for 51 points against the Nuggets on Dec. 17.
-The Thunder have the longest active win streak in the NBA at eight games.
-The Nuggets have fallen to 0-2 against the Thunder this season. The Thunder beat the Nuggets 115-113 on Nov. 18.
On Dec. 20, the Nuggets host the Phoenix Suns. The Suns handled the Nuggets 103-114 on Nov. 8. Altitude will broadcast the game at 7 PM MT. Check back to Hardwood Gold Rush for analysis on the game from Peter Sherwill.