Oklahoma City Thunder vs. Philadelphia 76ers: Live Score and Analysis for OKC
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Kevin Durant flirted with a triple-double, Reggie Jackson led all scorers with 29 points and the Oklahoma City Thunder topped the Philadelphia 76ers, 103-99, in their preseason matchup in Manchester on Tuesday afternoon.
The Thunder shot 43.5 percent from the floor and held the 76ers, who got 20 points from Tony Wroten, to 41.5 percent shooting
Let's go through some of Oklahoma City's keys from Tuesday's game, some good, some bad.
Durant, Durant, Durant
What can we really say about Durant at this point? The guy is incredible.
KD scored 21 points (14 in the third quarter alone), handed out 12 assists and grabbed eight rebounds in 33 minutes of action. He got off to a rather slow start shooting the basketball, as he was only 3-of-10 at the half, but he still did an incredible job getting his teammates involved and keeping everything relatively under control during some helter-skelter moments early on.
Durant then had one of his typical explosions in the third period, going 6-of-8 from the floor and picking up five dimes. He took over the game, putting the Thunder up by 11 before going to the bench for the fourth quarter.
You had to like Durant's mindset in this one. He understood that Russell Westbrook is not on the floor, so he did everything he could to get his teammates easy looks to get them going. Considering Westbrook will miss the first 4-6 weeks of the season, you have to hope that this is a mentality that carries over into the season opener and beyond for KD.
A nearly flawless performance by Jackson
Again, Jackson led all scorers with 29 points, shooting 10-of-17 from the floor and hitting all eight of his free throws. He only shot 1-of-6 from downtown, but that's not his game.
Perhaps the most eye-opening aspect of Jackson's performance on Tuesday is the fact that he handed out eight assists and only accumulated one turnover. He looked incredibly composed at all times, especially late in the game with Durant on the bench. The contest was in the balance, and Jackson took matters into his own hands by taking complete control of the offense and even barking commands to his teammates.
He really is like a poor man's Westbrook out there. He plays almost the exact same way as Russell, displaying absolutely no fear and utilizing his athleticism to get where he needs to go. Plus, he has quite a fine mid-range game, also akin to Westbrook.
How about Steven Adams and Perry Jones?
Both Steven Adams and Perry Jones came through with solid contributions, with Adams scoring six points and pulling down four rebounds in 17 minutes and Jones putting in seven points and five boards in 24 minutes.
What was most impressive about Adams was his soft touch around the rim. He also demonstrated very good hands, in stark contrast to Kendrick Perkins who is known for fumbling the basketball around in the post. Adams still has a ways to go and is undeniably raw, but he is further along than I expected he would be at this point.
Jones also looked good, making a nice cut toward the basket and ultimately receiving a feed from Durant for a flush and knocking down a triple. He played some solid defense, too. Perhaps the second-year man out of Baylor is prepared to contribute?
Jeremy Lamb could use some work
Jeremy Lamb was fine defensively, displaying good instincts on the perimeter and flashing an outstanding block against the backboard in transition. Still, his offensive game could use a lot of work.
Hopefully we can just chalk it up to an "off" night, but Lamb went 2-of-12 from the floor, shooting 0-of-8 from beyond the arc with two airballs. You have to respect the fact that he had enough confidence to keep shooting despite all of his misses, but how much confidence did he have in his actual shot?
The good news is, Lamb was a good shooter at UConn and showed that he is not afraid of the big moment during Connecticut's national title run in 2011. Still, this is the NBA, and the stakes are obviously higher.
Of course, Lamb is very young and inexperienced, so a more sound approach offensively should come over time. It's not a talent problem; the kid has some fine tools.
OKC needs better outside shooting
The Thunder shot only 6-of-27 from deep in this one, an obviously ugly clip. The problem is, OKC doesn't really have any proven outside shooters other than Durant (and Derek Fisher, if you want to count him). Jackson isn't much of a threat from there, Lamb is clearly still learning and Westbrook has never been much fo a three-point shooter, either.
Is this a problem that is going to persist for Oklahoma City all year? If so, then GM Sam Presti needs to adjust accordingly and go out and make a move. You can't live and die by the three, but you also can't live without the three, either. Just ask the 2013 Memphis Grizzlies.
The Thunder will now return to OKC and have a week off before its third preseason game comes next Tuesday at home against Denver— Darnell Mayberry (@DarnellMayberry) October 8, 2013
Looking forward to it.
Final: Thunder 103, Sixers 99. Reggie Jackson w/ a game-high 29 points. KD with 21 points, eight rebounds and 12 assists. Ibaka w/ 18 & 11.— Darnell Mayberry (@DarnellMayberry) October 8, 2013
And that'll do it. Reggie Jackson pours in a game-high 29 points to lead OKC to the win.
Stay tuned for postgame analysis.
THUNDER 103, 76ERS 99 - FINAL
Reggie Jackson: 27 points, 10/17 shooting, eight assists, six rebounds, one turnover. Under control, looked great today.— Anthony Slater (@anthonyVslater) October 8, 2013
Took the words right out of my mouth.
Words can't truly describe how impressed I am with Jackson today. 27 points, 8 dimes, 6 boards, and only one turnover.
Meanwhile, OKC inexcusably allows an offensive board off a missed FT. Turner puts in a layup to bring his squad within 2.
THUNDER 101, 76ERS 99 - 10.4 SECONDS REMAINING IN 4TH QUARTER
Outstanding possession by OKC there. Great ball movement results in a missed three, but Perry Jones rips down the offensive board and kicks it out to a composed Jackson who is intentionally fouled. Gotta love the way Jackson handled that sequence. He also knocks down two FTs.
THUNDER 101, 76ERS 96 - 18.1 SECONDS REMAINING
This is still a one possession game, folks. As good of a preseason contest as you can ask for.
THUNDER 99, 76ERS 96 - 44.7 SECONDS REMAINING
This game would be over if Jeremy Lamb could just shoot 30%....— Welcome To Loud City (@WTLC) October 8, 2013
Pains me to read all of this because I'm a UConn fan, but this is true.
Might have to invent new stat this season: MSODP. Missed Shot Off Durant Pass. KD's teammates will have open looks galore. Can they convert?— J.A. Adande (@jadande) October 8, 2013
Also, note to all NBA commentators: "MCW" has one less syllable than "Michael Carter-Williams" and one more than "Carter-Williams." Might not be necessary to say his nickname instead of his actual name.
MCW really having a solid game for Philly. Just drained a pull-up jumper to make this a one-possession game. The rook has 11.
THUNDER 97, 76ERS 94 - 1:49 REMAINING IN 4TH QUARTER
This has actually been a very entertaining preseason game. Most of the regulars have played big minutes. Also have gotten to see what some of the younger players have (and don't have) to offer.
THUNDER 97, 76ERS 89 - 2:55 REMAINING IN 4TH QUARTER
For the second time today, Orton gets stuffed by...the rim. Ugh.
THUNDER 95, 76ERS 89 - 3:31 REMAINING IN 4TH QUARTER
Jeremy Lamb has done a lot of good things, but he's now 0/8 from three with a couple airballs. Oof.— Anthony Slater (@anthonyVslater) October 8, 2013
Meanwhile, the assault on Lamb's shooting woes continues.
Reggie Jackson: 23 points on 10-15, six assists, five rebounds, zero turnovers. Still seven minutes to go, too.— Royce Young (@royceyoung) October 8, 2013
Another update on Reggie. Kid is having a HECK of a game.
Gotta give credit to the 76ers for the most part. They bent, but have never truly broken. Of course, OKC was up 11 when KD went to the bench for the rest of the game.
THUNDER 93, 76ERS 87 - 4:50 REMAINING IN 4TH QUARTER
Man, if this were a real game, I hope Lamb would have been benched long ago. He could become a scapegoat (ha) in real games this late.— Welcome To Loud City (@WTLC) October 8, 2013
The thing is, he looks good defensively, so at least there's that.
Interesting that we haven't seen any Hasheem Thabeet today at all. Wonder if Brooks is just seeing what he has in Orton or if Thabeet has possibly fallen behind him on the depth chart.
THUNDER 93, 76ERS 85 - 5:41 REMAINING IN 4TH QUARTER
Tony Wroten is really sweating himself for Philly. Ran the shot clock all the way down just to shoot a three. Having a good game thought with 20 points and four bombs.
THUNDER 89, 76ERS 85 - 6:59 REMAINING IN 4TH QUARTER
Jeremy Lamb has done two things really poorly on the offensive end: He's taken forced 3-pointers, and missed the other wide open ones.— Royce Young (@royceyoung) October 8, 2013
Daniel Orton still looks like he's learning to play within himself. Making mistakes I'd expect Adams to make.— Welcome To Loud City (@WTLC) October 8, 2013
The big man is still incredibly raw, but that's what happens when you leave school after one year where you didn't even start.
Jeremy Lamb has four blocks in his first two preseason games. Kevin Martin had eight blocks all last season.— Anthony Slater (@anthonyVslater) October 8, 2013
That is pretty funny. Still, OKC doesn't need Lamb to block shots. That's what Ibaka is for. They need him to knock down shots, which he hasn't done today at all.
Suddenly, the 76ers have tied this game. Well, with Durant on the bench, of course.
THUNDER 85, 76ERS 85 - 8:20 REMAINING IN 4TH QUARTER
If this is where Kevin Durant's game is going and he can maintain it for the entire season, an MVP is a very, very strong possibility.— Royce Young (@royceyoung) October 8, 2013
What I like most about Durant's performance today is his realization that Westbrook is not on the floor. Being that KD is the only real scorer on the team, he did everything he could to get his teammates involved. Was an outstanding playmaker.
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