Ibaka and Thunder keep Pistons winless
Oklahoma City, OK – Serge Ibaka poured in a career-high 25 points and grabbed seven rebounds on Friday night, as the Oklahoma City Thunder defeated the winless Detroit Pistons, 105-94, at Chesapeake Energy Arena.
Kevin Durant recorded a double-double with 25 points and 13 boards, while Kevin Martin tallied 16 points and Eric Maynor netted 13 points for the Thunder, who have won seven straight over the Pistons and three straight overall.
"It feels good," Ibaka said of his performance. "First of all I've got to thank my teammates. They did a great job of finding me and they knew I was hot which gave me confidence. They did a great job passing me the ball."
Rookie Andre Drummond paced the Pistons with 22 points and eight rebounds and Greg Monroe added 14 points, 10 boards and six assists in a losing effort, as Detroit dropped to 0-6 for the first time since the 1980-81 squad went 0-7 to begin the season.
"It's not really about the points. I could have scored four points. I just really wanted to win today," Drummond lamented. "This was a great team we played today. We fought hard throughout the game. I'm just really upset that we lost."
After a back-and-forth first quarter found the Pistons holding a 19-18 lead, Martin and Maynor scored the Thunder's first 14 points of the second to give the home team a 32-27 edge with 8:50 left until halftime.
Detroit pulled within one midway through the stanza, but Oklahoma City ripped off eight straight to build a nine-point lead before Durant donated his team's final five points of the first half to help the Thunder carry a 49-42 edge into the locker room.
The Thunder then opened the second half with an 8-2 surge to grab a 13-point lead with less than three minutes gone in the third.
After a Durant 3-pointer made it a 70-58 margin with 3:54 remaining in the third, the Pistons closed the quarter on an 11-4 run to pull within 74-69 heading into the fourth.
The edge again stood at five after a Kyle Singler triple early in the final frame, but a jumper by Ibaka sparked a 14-3 Thunder run to give the home team a 93-77 advantage with 5:47 to play.
Oklahoma City held the Pistons at arm's length from there, as the lead never dipped below nine the rest of the way.
Detroit hasn't won in Oklahoma City since the team moved there before the 2008-09 season ... Singler finished with seven points for the Pistons ... The Thunder shot 53.5 percent from the field.