Thunder down Kings, clinch West's No. 1 seedApr 16, 2013 - 6:22 AM Oklahoma City Thunder to a 104-95 win over the Sacramento Kings at Chesapeake Energy Arena.
The victory gives Oklahoma City home court advantage throughout the Western Conference playoffs.
"It feels good but we still have a lot of work to do," Durant said. "We just gotta keep trying to get better."
Russell Westbrook provided 21 points and eight assists for the Thunder. Serge Ibaka had 14 points, seven rebounds and two blocks in the win.
Isaiah Thomas paced the Kings with 16 points, but he was the only starter to reach double figures. Travis Outlaw tallied 15 points while Cole Aldrich posted a double-double with 12 points and 13 rebounds.
"I thought our guys did a great job of trying to battle this basketball team but we turned it over a little too much and got them in transition too much," Sacramento coach Keith Smart admitted.
Oklahoma City scored the first eight points of the contest to grab an early lead. The Kings responded with an 11-4 run to make it a one-point contest. Tyreke Evans scored eight points in the first quarter before leaving the game with a strained left quadriceps. Sacramento went into the second frame trailing, 25-19, after it hit on just 7-of-21 from the field in the first 12 minutes of action.
The Thunder used an early surge in the second quarter to push their lead to double-digits. Durant drained a 3-pointer to put Oklahoma City on top, 41-27, with 7:11 left before the break. Thomas hit a step back 3-point attempt with 25.9 seconds showing on the game clock to send the Kings into halftime facing a 54-43 deficit.
Sacramento came out of the intermission cold and converted just 36.4 percent of its field-goal attempts in the third period. The Thunder knocked down 52.2 percent of their shots from the floor with Durant leading the way with seven points. Oklahoma City managed to extend its lead to 24 on two separate occasions but the Kings refused to quit and Aldrich made it a 14-point game with an offensive rebound and jumper on their final possession of the quarter. Reggie Jackson put in a driving layup to send the Thunder into the fourth stanza with an 83-67 edge on the scoreboard.
Oklahoma City led by double digits for the entire fourth quarter until Jimmer Fredette completed a four-point play with under 10 seconds remaining.
The Thunder held a 62-46 edge in points in the paint as they completed the sweep of Sacramento in the season series.
The Kings have now lost three games in a row...Evans scored eight points in 10 minutes before sustaining an injury...Oklahoma City has won six in a row, 12- of-13 and 15-of-16 versus Sacramento...Daniel Orton and Jackson scored 10 points apiece off the bench for the Thunder...Ronnie Brewer pulled down a career-best 13 rebounds.
- SACRAMENTO: 95
OKLAHOMA CITY: 104
Apr 15 10:18 PM
- SACRAMENTO: 67
OKLAHOMA CITY: 83
End of 3rd
Apr 15 9:49 PM
- SACRAMENTO: 43
OKLAHOMA CITY: 54
Apr 15 9:10 PM
- SACRAMENTO: 19
OKLAHOMA CITY: 25
End of 1st
Apr 15 8:40 PM
- SACRAMENTO: 0
OKLAHOMA CITY: 0
1st Quarter - 11:44
Apr 15 8:12 PM
- Warriors-Thunder Preview May 23
- Draymond, Westbrook swap barbs over fouls, kicks May 23
- Warriors' Green could face discipline after flagrant foul May 23
- Durant, Westbrook lead Thunder in blowout win over Warriors May 23
- Mark Cuban tells 'Meet The Press' Thunder are his title pick May 22
- Warriors-Thunder Preview May 21
- Warriors' big men must come up big in Game 3 against Thunder May 21
- Donovan, Kerr took very different paths to NBA coaching May 21
- Thunder will try to bounce back after big loss to Warriors May 20
- Column: Savor our version of Magic-Bird - Curry vs LeBron May 20
- Stephen Curry's sore right elbow not limiting him on court May 20
- Klay Thompson has carried Warriors this postseason May 19