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They had spent two days answering questions about getting blown out by the Cleveland Cavaliers on national television, about losing consecutive home games, and if there's concern, panic or worry.

The way the Oklahoma City Thunder played Wednesday, it looked like they were pretty sick of the questions. They started the game on a 15-3 run, then started the fourth on a 15-0 burst, forcing the Dallas Mavericks into 14 consecutive misses. Then they closed with a small 11-6 spurt to put Dallas away, 116-103.

Neither Kevin Durant or Russell Westbrook would agree with the theory that they played angry, or that there was any extra motivation. But they certainly played with a point to prove.

"We just played our game," Durant said. "We just did a better job of playing our game. We definitely didn't want to lose three in a row, but guys were relaxed. We were relaxed, we played calm all night. When they made that little run we stayed calm and we stayed together. But no, we played our game. We let everybody on the outside panic and we just tried to stay solid."

Russell Westbrook Trikot,Said Westbrook: "No, we came out and competed at a high level defensively. Like I said the last two games, there wasn't concern, man. We're a good team when we play the right way, and we did that tonight."
Oklahoma City Thunder #0 Russell Westbrook Revolution 30 Swingman Road königlichen Blau Kaufen Basketball Trikots
Any doubting of the Thunder's contender credentials was just reactionary, but the alarming way in which the Cavs beat them certainly rung some bells. The Thunder don't lose like that, really, especially at home. And while they weren't flawless against the Mavs, they looked far sturdier on the defensive end, while also unlocking some of their depth, a problem that has plagued them throughout the season.

It started with getting Andre Roberson back from a knee sprain that has kept him out the past month, which restored the starting five and allowed the Thunder to play their preferred rotation. It also was influenced by a long-coming adjustment from Billy Donovan, with him staggering Durant's and Westbrook's minutes to keep at least one on the floor for basically the entire game. Except for the final 1 minute, 11 seconds, when they both subbed out together with the Thunder up 15, at least one of the two was on the court.

Where the adjustment came was in subbing Durant midway through the first and third quarters, where typically he plays both all the way through. Durant has always preferred to play 12 minutes straight because he feels it has helped with his rhythm, but Donovan suggested the change during the two-day break, and Durant was receptive.

"Man, whatever he wants me to do, I'm down," Durant said. "I felt good. I've been in this league long enough I can figure it out. Coach just came to me the other day and said he wanted to try it out, and I said it was cool. It doesn't really affect me. At some point I'm going to get it going, at some point I'm going to make shots. Tonight it just started to come around. I've just got to stay patient. I can't force anything because I'm coming out a little earlier, I've just got to play my game. What happens, happens. Just try to play winning basketball."

The stagger argument has been a topic of conversation around the Thunder's two stars for a good while now, and part of the reason the front office tried to reform the second unit the past two seasons was to alleviate some of the pressure to do so. By staggering Durant and Westbrook's minutes, they might play more individually, but less collectively -- which is when the Thunder obliterate teams.

For example: This season Durant and Westbrook have played 31 minutes a game together. It was 25 against the Mavs. When they play together, the Thunder outscore teams by 12.2 points per 100 possessions. In comparison, the Warriors are outscoring teams by 12.7 for the season.

The heart of the change is to help the struggling bench and role players, who came up big in Dallas. Dion Waiters snapped out of his post-All-Star funk, scoring all 14 of his points in the second half, hitting 4-of-6 from 3-point territory. Enes Kanter had 14 points and nine rebounds in 17 minutes. New addition Randy Foye hit a pair of first half 3s. Serge Ibaka had 13 points and eight rebounds; Steven Adams had 15 points (13 in the third quarter) and seven boards. The Thunder scored an easy 116 points, with Durant and Westbrook scoring only 24 apiece.


"[Durant hat] in Bezug auf die immer wollen tun, was am besten für das Team ist toll" Donovan sagte der Drehung Änderung. "Ich sagte nur ihm, insbesondere im vierten Quartal, ich denke, dass wir haben, haben Sie oder Russell draußen zu diesem vierten Quartal beginnen. Ich ging es früh und wir hatten den letzten paar Tagen darüber gesprochen und er wollte es ausprobieren, war er alle für ihn. "

Die Thunder eröffnet mit Durant auf dem Boden im vierte Quartal am Mittwoch beginnen 15-0 ausführen, um einen 21-Punkte-Vorsprung zu bauen.

Die Änderung möglicherweise nicht permanent, besonders wenn Durant entscheidet, daß er seine Norm vollständigen erste - und dritten Quartal läuft zurückkehren will. Aber mit der Art der Donner Bank geworden eine Verbindlichkeit, die beste, die Lösung für, ist zu versuchen, sicherzustellen, Westbrook oder Durant auf dem Boden alle 48 Minuten--sofern Kellner geht, wie er am Mittwoch in jedem Spiel zu spielen. Das scheint nicht wie eine intelligente Wette zu machen, obwohl.

Die zwei Tage schien der Donner aus hatte wie sie über Ihnen folgenden Produktkategorien waren eine Deflationierung Wochenende zu Hause. Stattdessen könnte es eine erhebliche Anpassung, 1 erzeugt haben, die wichtige Nachsaison Auswirkungen haben könnte.