OKC beats Barcelona 92-89 for 1st win without Durant

by Associated Press on October 5, 2016 at 6:00 pm

BARCELONA, Spain (AP) — Forward Enes Kanter scored 24 points and the Oklahoma City Thunder beat Barcelona 92-89 to conclude their preseason trip to Spain on Wednesday.

Kanter drove for a lay-up with a minute to play to put the Thunder ahead for good and avoid a second straight defeat after losing at Real Madrid on Monday.

It was the second game the Thunder have played since the departure of star forward Kevin Durant this summer to Western Conference rival the Golden State Warriors.

The Thunder was without center Steven Adams, who injured his right ankle during Monday’s 142-137 overtime loss at Real Madrid.

Just like against Madrid, coach Billy Donovan only played point guard Russell Westbrook in the first and third quarters. He finished with 12 points and five assists, followed by new backcourt partner Victor Oladipo’s 10 points.

“Obviously with Russell we are not going to play him a lot of minutes, and Steven Adams is hurt, so it gave our new guys a chance to play,” Donovan said. “I think from Monday to today we have gotten better as a team. It was a great experience to work with new faces and new pieces. I think it was very beneficial.”

Barcelona was led by former Portland Trailblazer forward Victor Claver, who scored a game-high 25 points.

Westbrook thrilled the Catalan crowd with a flying dunk late in the first quarter before taking to the bench until halftime.

Without their on-court leader, the Thunder fell nine points behind before rookie Domantas Sabonis capped a rally with a 3-pointer to cut the deficit to two points (47-45) entering the third quarter.

Alex Abrines, who joined the Thunder from Barcelona this offseason, also scored six points late in the final period.

The Thunder heads back to the U.S. for four more preseason games, this time against NBA opponents Dallas, Memphis, Minnesota and Denver, before opening the season at the Philadelphia 76ers on Oct. 26.