8:00 PM ET, January 23, 2012
Chesapeake Energy Arena, Oklahoma City, OK
When they're allowed to do it, it doesn't take long for games to get out of hand.
Russell Westbrook and reserve James Harden each scored 24 points, Kevin Durant added 20 and the Oklahoma City Thunder beat the Detroit Pistons 99-79 Monday night for their fourth straight blowout win at home.
The Thunder built up a 30-point lead midway through the second quarter and Detroit got no closer than 17 after the opening period.
"That's always our motto we live by is getting stops and running out," "Today, that's what we did and we were able to get some easy layups and get everybody going."
Stuckey appeared to re-aggravate a nagging groin injury in the second half. Frank said he'd be re-evaluated Tuesday.
The overmatched Pistons -- last in the league in scoring, rebounding and turnovers committed -- never stood a chance from the start. Ben Gordon missed his second straight game because of a sore left shoulder, and Will Bynum (foot) and Charlie Villanueva (ankle) also remained out.
Westbrook had a right-handed throwdown dunk and Durant got out in transition for a layup and a three-point play as the Thunder took control with a 9-0 run after Stuckey's basket to open the game.
Oklahoma City was already up by 19 late in a first quarter in which Detroit missed 15 of 18 shots and got outrebounded 16-6. The official stats credited the Thunder with 15 fast-break points but Pistons coach Lawrence Frank chalked up 21 of Oklahoma City's 31 first-quarter points to transition play.
Two baskets came on putbacks after fast-break misses.
"They have great speed and quickness. But for us, we just didn't do enough to make them play against a set defense," Frank said. "We just didn't."
Frank said Detroit had nine shots within three feet of the basket in the first period that proved fruitless.
"Unfortunately, they were either blocked or led to their break," Frank said. "When you get run out of the gym, it's normally your turnovers. I think we only had one turnover during that stretch."
"You've got to give their defense some credit but you have to get back," Frank added.
Another stretch of nine points in a row put the Thunder ahead 51-21 after Durant's jumper from the right side with 5:31 to go before halftime.
Oklahoma City made 22 of its first 33 shots.
Even when things seemed to be going well for Detroit, they didn't.
Brandon Knight, Jonas Jerebko and Damien Wilkins had a 3-on-1 in transition against Thabo Sefolosha that ended when Sefolosha blocked Jerebko's shot to keep the Thunder lead at 60-33 going into halftime.
Durant called it Oklahoma City's best defensive performance of the season, holding Detroit to just 34 percent shooting. It was the second-best in terms of points allowed, behind only the 74 points allowed in a win at New Jersey one game earlier.
"We did a good job defensively," Westbrook said. "I think we did good job of coming out and making our presence known defensively."
Oklahoma City's starters had sat out all of the fourth quarter in the previous three games at Chesapeake Energy Arena and that streak was only stopped because Serge Ibaka replaced an injured Nick Collison with the rest of the backups for the first 2 minutes of the fourth quarter.
Collison sprained his left ankle and didn't play after halftime. He is day-to-day leading into Wednesday's game against New Orleans.
Detroit lost for the 11th time in its last 13 games and was unable to follow Saturday's 94-91 win against Portland with another strong performance.
"The bottom line is this is who we are. ... We haven't been consistent, so that's where we're at right now," Frank said. "So, we're just going to have to work a whole lot harder and smarter and tougher together to not have performances that resemble this."
Frank said the Pistons got deflated after Oklahoma City's early run and needed to "tie those shoes up tighter and take a stand."
"I just know we have a whole lot more to give and a whole lot more talent in that locker room to have performances like these," Frank said. "We just can't accept it."
Kendrick Perkins picked up his sixth technical foul of the season in the final minute of the first half, with the Thunder up by 29. He faces a one-game suspension if he gets to 13. ... Monroe was 1 for 10 in the first half. He missed shots on four of Detroit's first five possessions. ... Ibaka blocked a season-high five shots for the second straight game and also pulled down 10 rebounds.
OKLAHOMA CITY, OK - JANUARY 23: Rodney Stuckey #3 of the Detroit Pistons controls the ball during the game against...(Photo by Layne Murdoch Jr./NBAE via Getty Images)
Team Stat Comparison
|FGM-FGA||28-82 (.341)||41-77 (.532)|
|3PM-3PA||4-14 (.286)||7-16 (.438)|
|FTM-FTA||19-27 (.704)||10-14 (.714)|
|Fast Break Points||12||19|
|Fouls (Tech/Flagrant)||11 (1/0)||22 (1/0)|
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