After starting the second half of the season on a three-game losing streak, the Oklahoma City Thunder has reeled off two straight wins at home. Their latest win came on Sunday night as they defeated the Charlotte Bobcats 116-99.
The Thunder has not looked liked themselves prior to their last two games. They had been playing poor defense, and key players were not meeting their expectations. Reggie Jackson and Jeremy Lamb‘s poor play also hurt their offense as of late.
In the last two games, Jackson has played more like himself, scoring 17 points in the win on Sunday night and 14 in the Thunder’s previous game against the Memphis Grizzlies. Lamb has been inconsistent at best with Russell Westbrook back in the lineup. He may need a little more time to get comfortable with his new role as his minutes continue to slide as the season progresses.
Speaking of Westbrook, he was amazing tonight, finishing the game with 26-points on 10-of-12 shooting from the field. It was only a matter of time before his explosiveness returned. He is playing quicker and more confident than he was during his first couple of games back on the floor. The better Westbrook performs, the easier it will be for Kevin Durant to play his part.
Durant had a subpar game on Sunday, but he was highly effective late. The two-man game involving him and Westbrook proved to be too much for the Bobcats to handle as the clock wound down. Durant ended up with 28-points on 8-of-24 shooting, and he also missed all six of his 3-point attempts. Even though he struggled a bit, the Thunder looked as good as they have in the last couple of weeks.
The loss of Thabo Sefolosha and Kendrick Perkins hurts, but should not bother their chances of finishing out the season strong. The Thunder could benefit from their injuries as their young players will see more playing time, preparing them for the tough road ahead as the Thunder try bring home a NBA championship.