There were several times tonight when you had to wonder just what the pluperfect hell was going on. Certainly radio guy Matt Pinto was seriously perplexed, early on when Quincy Acy was rung up for a technical on an incident to which Acy was, well, incidental; late in the second, when Rajon Rondo ran up two consecutive technicals for delay of game by inexplicably failing to inbound the ball; and early in the fourth, when he threw up his hands (so to speak) and despaired of ever getting a proper definition of a clear-path foul. Meanwhile, DeMarcus Cousins kept crashing through the paint to the net, undeterred by Thunder defenders or by a brief ankle tweaking in the third quarter. The official Thunder response seemed to be “Meh, we’re winning.” And so they did, 131-116, despite failing to keep Cousins or any of the other Kings out of the paint for long.
Nice stuff: Enes Kanter missed nothing all night, 11-11 and 1-1 on a free throw for 23 points. (Actually, I think Acy goaltended one of those.) And you have to figure that any time Dion Waiters and Kyle Singler both end up in double digits is a good night. (Waiters had 22 and a game-high +30; Singler finished with 11.) Of course, there are those Other Guys: Kevin Durant with 27 and 10 boards, and yet another Russell Westbrook triple-double (20-13-15). Here’s the number that explains it all, though: the Thunder made 47 of 82 shots. The Kings made 48 shots, but it took them 107 tries. Twenty-two offensive rebounds will do that for you.
Still, you don’t mess with Cousins, who despite going 14-33 led all scorers with 35, plus collecting 12 rebounds. And if the Kings’ game plan occasionally seemed repetitive — give it to Cousins inside and let him pound his way through — it was also fairly effective, producing 72 points in the paint, clearly indicating that Cousins wasn’t the only one who could score inside. Six Kings in double figures say the same.
Nothing wrong with starting a road trip with a win. But the crux of this particular biscuit arrives Wednesday and Thursday: the Clippers and the Warriors in succession. The Kings, for now, can be forgotten.