Thunder shut down Sixers for 89-74 win

March 8, 2009 6:53:35 PM PDT
Nenad Krstic scored 20 points and Malik Rose added a season-high 14 as the Oklahoma City Thunder continued their strong play without their two leading scorers, beating the Philadelphia 76ers 89-74 on Sunday night. The Thunder surged ahead by outscoring Philadelphia 20-2 to start the second quarter, and the 76ers were never able to get within 10. Rose had eight of the Thunder's points in that stretch, while the 76ers went 1-for-9 from the field and committed six turnovers.

Andre Miller and Thaddeus Young led Philadelphia with 20 points apiece. Miller has scored at least 20 points in five straight games for the first time in his career.

Nick Collison added 12 points and 11 rebounds for Oklahoma City, which has won four of five without Kevin Durant (ankle) and three of four without Jeff Green (back).

The Thunder forced 21 turnovers and held Philadelphia to its second-lowest scoring total of the season. The only other times the Sixers were kept to less than 80 points were in losses to East leaders Cleveland and Boston.

It was also the fewest points allowed by Oklahoma City this season.

With the Thunder missing a combined 43 points in scoring average from Durant and Green, Rose provided some unexpected offense. He had his best scoring outing since March 22, when he had 20 points for the New York Knicks against Minnesota.

He had played in only three games with the Knicks between late December and the trade deadline last month, but has had a chance for some playing time with Oklahoma City fighting a slew of injuries.

Rose was 4-for-6 in the pivotal second quarter and finished the game with seven rebounds, also his most of the season.

The Sixers overcame an early eight-point deficit by closing the first quarter on a 17-3 run to go up 24-18 on Andre Iguodala's right-handed reverse jam. But after that, Philadelphia didn't show much offensive punch.

Iguodala, who was averaging a team-best 18.1 points, was limited to nine on 3-for-11 shooting.

Notes: Iguodala hit a half-court shot just after the halftime buzzer, and officials checked a courtside monitor to confirm their decision. He also missed a half-court shot to end the third quarter. ... Oklahoma football coach Bob Stoops attended the game and spent a few minutes chatting with Thunder coach Scott Brooks outside the home locker room before the game. ... Backup C Robert Swift was not with the Thunder for a second straight game for personal reasons. ... Actor Jim Caviezel also was at the game.

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