Kevin Durant put up 42 and led his Thunder to victory with a will to win showing throughout the night. As he often does, Durant came up big in the fourth, scoring 15 in the period.
Gordon Hayward had a chance to tie the game at the end and his three-point attempt just past halfcourt that rimmed out was eerily similar to the one that came up short against Duke in the NCAA Championship game when the forward played for the Butler Bulldogs.
Thabo Sefolosha and Reggie Jackson each scored 14 points and Serge Ibaka did his part with 10 rebounds and two blocked shots.
Thunder coach Scott Brooks was appreciative of his team’s effort.
“All in all, it’s the first game and I can’t complain,” Brooks said. “We played with a lot of effort tonight and that’s the main thing we talk every night. So that was one ‘good effort game.'”