The Oklahoma City Thunder came into the 2011-2012 season with high expectations, not only from themselves, but from a lot of people in the media. They came out of the gates on a high note, beating the Orlando Magic 97-89 on Christmas Day, and then the very next night they beat the Minnesota Timberwolves 104-100.
Kevin Durant led the way in the first game, scoring a game high 30 points on 11-19 from the field to go along with five rebounds, six assists, and two steals. James Harden played exceptionally well, scoring 19 points, while point guard Russell Westbrook added 14 and led the team with seven rebounds, and had six assists.
The Thunder did a good job of containing Magic center, Dwight Howard. They limited him to just 11 points on 4-12 from the field. Howard also pulled down 15 rebounds. The superstar center, who has been in a lot of trade talks over the past few weeks, struggled on Christmas Day, a day in which he never seems to play like he can. Orlando had two other players in double figures as Ryan Anderson led the team with 25 points and completed the double-double with 10 rebounds, and point guard Jameer Nelson had 18 points.
The day after Christmas, Durant and the Thunder were at it again. Durant led the way with a game high 33 points going 12-23 from the field and 7-7 from the free throw line. His sidekick, Westbrook, had a stellar game as well going for 28 points six rebounds, and six assists. James Harden scored 16 points off the bench.
Minnesota gave Oklahoma City a run for their money, having five guys reach double figures. Forward Michael Beasley led the team with 24 points, while double-double machine, Kevin Love, had 22 points and 12 rebounds. Highly touted point guard Ricky Rubio made his NBA debut after coming fro overseas to excite the Minnesota faithful with a handful of nifty passes.
The Timberwolves led 96-95 with three minutes to play before Westbrook drove the length of the floor to get an and-1 layup to give the Thunder the lead, which they would not let go the rest of the game.
The Thunder return to action Wednesday (December 29th) against the Memphis Grizzlies, then play the following night (Thursday) against the defending NBA champions, Dallas Mavericks, who have struggled to start the season. This will be a nice little test for the Thunder in these two games.
About the Author
Written by Eddie McDonald
I am a junior at Clarion University. I come from a small town. I played high school basketball and baseball. I love sports and being able to write and voice my opinion on sports.