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Monday Bolts: 1.29.18

Monday Bolts: 1.29.18

Royce Young on Westbrook and the Thunder getting the last laugh versus Philadelphia: “About a second separated the shot and game clocks, and Russell Westbrook stood a step over the half-court line casually dribbling the ball as T.J. McConnell stood in front of him, halfheartedly in a surrendered defensive stance. With a 122-112 win over the Philadelphia 76ers secured, Westbrook watched the clock drain, eyes blinking fast — a tell that his blood is rising — and shooting looks back and forth between it and the Sixers’ bench. As it closed in on zero, he dropped the ball and locked onto the Sixers’ bench. As the Sixers inbounded to run off the final seconds, Westbrook walked toward his tunnel, keeping his eyes on the Philly bench. It wasn’t subtle.”

Brett Dawson on Paul George silently killing the Sixers: “There was acclaim to go around after the Thunder’s 122-112 win against the Philadelphia 76ers — for Russell Westbrook’s energy and Steven Adams’ relentlessness — in a game that ran high on emotion and loud in volume. And fittingly, when Donovan was asked about George — who finished with 31 points, three rebounds, four assists and four steals Sunday at Chesapeake Energy Arena — he talked about his small forward’s hushed excellence.”

Berry Tramel on Steven Adams wearing down Joel Embiid: “Physical intimidation. Mental fortitude. Constant tenacity. That’s the Adams you see on the court. Adams plays hard and he hits hard. That’s the Adams the Philadelphia 76ers saw Sunday night. “You can’t help but get into that type of warfare when you’re playing against Steven,” said Sixers coach Brett Brown. Adams got into that type of game against Sixer superstar Joel Embiid. Embiid is a monster; 7-foot and skilled and rugged himself. But Adams wore down Embiid, and 24 hours after losing Roberson, its defensive ace, the Thunder wore down Philadelphia for a 122-112 victory.”

Michael Rothstein (ESPN) on Andre Roberson’s season-ending injury/successful surgery: “Oklahoma City guard Andre Roberson suffered a ruptured left patellar tendon during the third quarter of Saturday’s win over the Pistons, the Thunder announced Sunday. Roberson was taken off the court on a stretcher after his left leg appeared to give out on the receiving end of an alley-oop attempt. Roberson, 26, underwent surgery to repair the injury and will miss the remainder of the season, the team announced Sunday. He missed eight games earlier this season with patellar tendinitis in his left knee.”

Kevin Pelton (ESPN) explores the total fallout from Roberson’s injury: “The best strategy for the Thunder might be to target cheaper players in the final year of their contracts. Joe Harris of the Brooklyn Nets, making $1.5 million, would be an ideal target. Or Oklahoma City could look to move Abrines as part of a deal for a slightly more expensive player, such as Marco Belinelli of the Atlanta Hawks.”

Kevin Durant discussed Roberson’s injury: “Sickening, man. Sickening. I just seen Dre’s in the locker room… Somebody I spent so much time with, got to know, somebody I call family… it’s tough to see ’cause you work so hard.”

Royce Young on Paul George replacing Boogie in the All-Star Game: “Thunder forward Paul George is replacing injured Pelicans big man DeMarcus Cousins on Team LeBron in the 2018 All-Star Game in Los Angeles, the NBA announced Saturday. Cousins, selected as a starter in the Western Conference and drafted by LeBron James, will miss the remainder of the season after rupturing his left Achilles tendon on Friday.”

Carmelo Anthony surpassed 25,000 career points: “It’s a special moment,” Anthony said. “To kind of know what it took to get to this point and the amount of work that was put in to get to this point, the teammates that I’ve played with over the years, and for me to still be at a point in my career where I still have a lot more to go.”

Around the League: Fatigue likely contributed to DeMarcus Cousins’ torn achilles…. The tough road ahead for the Pelicans…. Players will now pocket $100k for winning All-Star Game…. Dwane Casey and the Raptors staff will coach Team LeBron on All-Star weekend…. Tyronn Lue will begin staggering LeBron/IT minutes…. Mike Conley is done for the season.