Den 17 16 23 35 91
Okc 29 26 21 26 102
Date of game: 11/1/2014

Recap: Oklahoma City vs. Denver

Oklahoma City, OK (SportsNetwork.com) - The short-handed Oklahoma City Thunder will face many tests without their two superstars over the next month.

They passed their first one with flying colors on Saturday.

A makeshift roster of just eight healthy players never trailed and held off a late rally by the Denver Nuggets to come away with a 102-91 win.

On a day when All-Star point guard Russell Westbrook underwent surgery on his broken hand, the Thunder, already without reigning MVP Kevin Durant, saw a 26- point lead dwindle to three in crunch time.

Serge Ibaka and Perry Jones each hit big 3-pointers down the stretch, however, and both scored 23 points to lead Oklahoma City's balanced attack.

Kendrick Perkins contributed 17 points, Steven Adams netted 13 and Lance Thomas added 12 with eight rebounds for the Thunder, who were on the verge of starting 0-3 for the first time since moving to Oklahoma City

Rest was not an issue for the Nuggets, who rolled to an easy win over the Pistons on Wednesday. Ty Lawson netted 14 of his 25 points in the final quarter, but it was too little, too late for the visitors.

Denver scored the first eight points of the fourth to pull within 76-64, and an 11-0 run, capped by a Randy Foye layup, had the Nuggets as close a 88-85 with 2:53 remaining.

Ibaka answered with a 3-pointer, and after Lawson hit a step-back jumper, Jones beat the shot clock with a miraculous turnaround 3 over Arron Afflalo.

Andre Roberson scored off the offensive glass to give the Thunder a 96-87 lead with 1:27 to play, and the closest it got from there was seven.

"A lot of our guys had never been in this situation," Thunder head coach Scott Brooks said. "It's valuable experience for all of us."

Ibaka's 3-pointer and jumper on back-to-back possessions had the Thunder up 12-3 just over three minutes in, and it was 29-17 at the end of 12 minutes.

The Nuggets made one field goal over the first six-plus minutes of the second quarter, and the subsequent 14-2 run pushed the margin to 43-19.

Oklahoma City went into the locker room with a healthy 55-33 cushion, and it stayed a double-digit game until Denver's late comeback.

"We didn't execute the way we wanted to," Lawson said of the slow start. "We didn't come to play."

Game Notes

The Thunder franchise has not started 0-3 since the 2007-08 season, when the then Sonics lost their first eight games ... Afflalo scored 14 points for the Nuggets, who committed 18 turnovers ... Sebastian Telfair handed out a game- high nine assists for the Thunder.

James Madison-Liberty game off in 2015

James Madison has opted out of a scheduled game at Liberty on Sept. 26 to play FBS opponent SMU, but the two FCS programs have agreed to seek future scheduling opportunities.

NASCAR News
Team Xtreme's stolen Sprint Cup car found

Team Xtreme Racing confirmed on Saturday morning that police have recovered its Sprint Cup Series race car that was stolen from a hotel parking lot in Morrow, Georgia.

Browns add Josh McCown

The Cleveland Browns have agreed to terms with quarterback Josh McCown, the team announced on Friday.

Thunder's Westbrook to miss at least one game

Oklahoma City Thunder star Russell Westbrook will miss at least one game after suffering a fracture of his right cheek late in Friday's game against the Trail Blazers.

Ducks nab Fleischmann for Heatley, pick

The Florida Panthers have traded forward Tomas Fleischmann to the Anaheim Ducks in exchange for fallen star Dany Heatley and a 2015 third-round draft choice.

Stay Connected with WDEF News 12
 
Inergize Digital This site is hosted and managed by Inergize Digital.