Thursday nights are TNT and the NBA's time to highlight great matchups and players around the league. A slate featuring the Chicago Bulls visiting the Oklahoma City Thunder the Golden State Warriors hosting the San Antonio Spurs looked great on paper when the schedule was put together.
Oklahoma City Thunder 107, Chicago Bulls 95
Kevin Durant scored 30 points to lead the Oklahoma City Thunder to a 107-95 victory over the Chicago Bulls. Durant was locked in from beyond the arc, making four of his five three-point attempts, and also had nine rebounds and six assists. The Thunder are riding an eight-game winning streak and have not lost in Oklahoma City this season. Must be nice to have someone who can do this:
Russell Westbrook tweaked his ankle during the second quarter but returned to the game after halftime. He finished with 20 points on an efficient 7-for-12 shooting along with 10 assists for a double-double.
The Bulls continue to struggle while dealing with injuries. They've now lost four straight games and were without Luol Deng and Kirk Hinrich. Jimmy Butler also injured his ankle during the game but did not return. Chicago shot a lowly 37 percent from the field as a team.
Good news for Chicago? Joakim Noah scored a season-high 23 points. Someone's gotta score, right? Oh, and of course Kendrick Perkins is gonna' Perk, this time because Thabo Sefolosha let his old pal from Chicago into the Thunder's locker room:
Was interviewing Thabo during Noah/Perk locker room argument. Here's exactly what was said: pic.twitter.com/QPlkC0QlX5— Anthony Slater (@anthonyVslater) December 20, 2013
San Antonio Spurs 104, Golden State Warriors 102
Nothing to see here. Just a Tiago Splitter game-winner:
A great trap of Stephen Curry on the final possession:
And Marco Belinelli, Patty Mills and Kawhi Leonard each notching at least 20 points a piece. That's without Tony Parker, Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili. Did I mention it was the second game of a back-to-back for San Antonio?
The Spurs are gonna' Spur, I suppose, but this is a brutal loss for the Golden State Warriors who are trying to bounce back from a stretch without Andre Iguodala. Curry and David Lee combined for 62 of the Warriors' 102 points, including 21 points in the fourth quarter, but fell short of delivering a victory over a depleted Spurs squad.
Things aren't going so swimmingly in the Bay as the Warriors are just one game over .500 on the season.