Thunder Come Alive in Second Half, Beat Pistons 123-110
The Oklahoma City Thunder (46-33) came alive after halftime on Friday night at Chesapeake Energy Arena, taking a 123-110 victory over the Detroit Pistons (39-40). Despite a halftime deficit and a game-high 45 points from Blake Griffin, OKC out-rebounded the Pistons by 27 and won 64-30 in the paint. The game featured 14 lead changes and 14 ties, but the Thunder took control for good at the end of the third quarter before holding the Pistons to just 14 points in the final frame.
Paul George led an evenly-balanced Thunder offense with 30 points (11/24 FG, 4/7 3P), as Russell Westbrook locked up a triple-double average for the season with 19 points, eight rebounds, and 15 assists. Steven Adams put up 14 points and 14 rebounds despite foul trouble, Dennis Schroder added 14 points and 10 assists, and Markieff Morris finished with 12 points in his highest-scoring effort in nearly a month.
4th Quarter: The Thunder held a one-point advantage heading into the fourth quarter, then proceeded to turn the game into a blowout. OKC held the Pistons to just 14 points on 20% shooting in the fourth — getting eight points from Jerami Grant to help slam the door shut.
Dirty Work: OKC won 59-32 on the glass, 21-4 on the offensive boards, outscored Detroit 64-30 in the paint, and had a 27-4 advantage in second chance scoring. Andre Drummond (the NBA’s leading rebounder) was held to four points and nine rebounds — as Steven Adams harassed him to the tune of 14 points, 14 rebounds, and two blocks. After getting himself into early foul trouble, Adams saw just six minutes of action in the first half. He had 12 points and 13 rebounds after halftime as the Thunder took command.
PG13: A cool 30 points on 11-of-24 shooting for PG. He was 4-of-7 from downtown, and added eight rebounds, four assists, and two steals.
The Brodie: Another night, another milestone for the former MVP. Westbrook locked up a triple-double average for the third consecutive season with his third assist early in the first quarter. He went on to finish with 15 dimes — his second straight game with 15+.
Also — how?!
The Menace: Schroder dropped a 14-point, 10-assist double-double off the Thunder bench — wrapping up his night as a team-high +22 in his 31 minutes. Nights like these aren’t very consistent, but they sure are fun to watch when things are working.
BG: Griffin played despite being questionable with a knee injury, and he looked just fine early on — scoring 31 points in the first half as the Pistons took a lead into the break. He added 13 in the third quarter, looking like he might just go for 60…. but he finished with one point on 0-of-5 shooting as the Thunder ran away with it in the fourth quarter. Crisis averted.
Standings: The Thunder remain seventh in the Western Conference with the win — still just a half-game up on the 8-seed Spurs (who were also victorious tonight).