Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) -
The stars shone brightly last night at one game in particular. East coast fantasy owners who stayed up late on Tuesday night to join their west coast brethren were rewarded with one of the best games of the year, both in real life and for fantasy production.
For those who missed it check out the Oklahoma City Thunder - Golden State Warriors box score. It was more than just the numbers, however. The game went back and forth with each team throwing knockout punches at the other.
Monta Ellis' fantasy owners were smiling from the start. Ellis has actually been a bit disappointing this season, with his scoring down two points from the previous years. He's playing less minutes and his rebounds, steals and field goal percentages are all lower. But not last night.
Ellis had 18 points in the first quarter, 30 by halftime and finished with a career-high 48 points. He also pulled down seven rebounds, two assists and two steals. Shooting 18-for-29 from the field, Ellis drove to the hoop and made a variety of twisting shots. Sure, he missed a three-pointer at the end of the game that could have won it, but you will hear no complaints from Ellis owners this morning.
Meanwhile, Russell Westbrook's 14 points, kept Oklahoma City close in that first quarter while most of the rest of the Thunder were still finding their way. The All-Star guard would finish the night with 31 points and seven assists. His game was marred by nine turnovers, but it's the only part of his game that needs work.
At the start of the second quarter, while Ellis and running mate Stephen Curry rested, the Thunder bench took control of the game. Led by NBA Sixth Man of the Year favorite James Harden, the Thunder opened up a nine-point lead late in the second quarter.
Back into the game came Ellis and a Warriors' flurry before halftime made it a two-point game. Ellis had 12 second quarter points and Curry, who had yet to miss a shot, had nine while David Lee had eight points.
Ellis added nine more points in the third quarter, but the stanza belonged to Lee. Lee was doing everything, primarily off the pick and roll and by the end of the third quarter had 19 points, eight rebound and nine assists. He was on his way to his second career triple-double. Another great stat line for fantasy owners.
Curry, who didn't miss his first field goal attempt until nine minutes remained in the fourth quarter, was the third Golden State Warrior with great numbers. He finished the night with 16 points, seven rebounds, 10 assists and two steals.
And of course, you can't talk about any Oklahoma City game without mentioning superstar Kevin Durant. Durant was "dull" by his standards in the first half, but finished the third quarter on a run - scoring the Thunder's final seven points and headed into the fourth quarter with 21 points.
Durant closed the game out with 12 fourth quarter points to finish the night with a team-high 33 points, 10 rebounds and seven assists. And Harden, who reminds one of a young Baron Davis posted 19 points, seven assists and a game- high four steals.
There was even a rare Daequan Cook sighting. Cook was 5-for-6 from three point range and finished with a season-high 17 points.
In the end, the Thunder prevailed by a 119-116 score, but for fantasy owners there were few losers. In front of a national audience on the NBA Network all our fantasy stars burned brightly.