Thunder Escapes Hawks on Historic Night for Russell Westbrook
On a night the Thunder was without Steven Adams and would later lose Paul George (groin), the Hawks hung around and made life difficult for the team from Oklahoma City. It took a dominant second half, 16 three-pointers, and a bit of history from Russell Westbrook, but the Thunder eventually escaped Atlanta with a 119-107 victory.
Westbrook recorded his 21st triple-double of the season in the win, an effort that gives him 100 triple-doubles in his career. Carmelo Anthony pitched-in 21 points on 6-of-11 shooting from downtown. Jerami Grant was phenomenal off the bench, dropping 20 points in 33 minutes of action. The Thunder trailed by as many as 12 in the contest but outscored Atlanta by 26 in the second half to come away with the important win.
The win pushes the Thunder record to 41-29 on the season ahead of Friday’s tilt with the Los Angeles Clippers. Now for some notes.
47.2: The Thunder shot 47.2 percent from the field, compared to 42.5 percent for Atlanta.
45.7: OKC used a plethora of deep balls to complete the victory. The Thunder was 16-of-35 (45.7 percent) from long distance.
-9: The Thunder struggled on the boards without Steven Adams. Atlanta won 47-38 on the glass — including 13-9 on the offensive end.
44: The Thunder bench showed up again, contributing 44 points.
27: Nice night of sharing for OKC. The team dished out 27 assists.
11: It was a block party for the Thunder. OKC swatted 11 shots.
8: Just eight turnovers for the Thunder.
15 & 28: The Hawks turned the ball over 15 times, resulting in 28 points for OKC.
Westbrook’s Historic Night
The triple-double was the 21st of Russell Westbrook’s season and the 100th of his career — making him just the fourth player in NBA history to reach that mark. He joins Oscar Robertson, Magic Johnson, and Jason Kidd in one of the most elite clubs in basketball. More importantly, the Thunder improved to 82-18 all-time when he messes around and gets a triple-double.
His final stat line:
32 points, 12 rebounds, 12 assists, 12/20 FG, 8/10 FT, +20
Westbrook’s complete highlights from Atlanta:
Jerami & Melo
Final stat lines for Jerami Grant and Carmelo Anthony:
Grant: 20 pts, 5 reb, 2 blk, 2 stl, 8/14 FG, 2/4 3P, +16
After an abysmal second quarter, the Thunder trailed by 12 at halftime. Grant started the second half over Dakari Johnson, igniting the Thunder offense and changing the complexion of the game. Grant shot 6-of-10 in the second half and played, perhaps, his finest game as a pro. Great stuff.
Melo: 21 pts, 4 reb, 4blk, 7/15 FG, 6/11 3P, +31
Melo went into his bag and came out with a second consecutive solid outing from long distance. He’s now 11-of-18 from deep over the last two games and his +31 was best on the team. Taking only four two-pointers was a fantastic idea.
PG13 came out hot in Atlanta, scoring the Thunder’s first 8 points and dropping 12 in the first quarter. He was held scoreless in the second quarter and would later leave the game in the third with what is being called a groin injury.
The severity of his injury is unknown so this will be something to keep an eye on. He finished his night with 12 points, 4 rebounds, 3 assists and shot 5-of-12 from the floor. Fingers crossed for the Thunder’s second man in charge.
Russ channels his inner Rajon Rondo and fools the Hawks:
Jerami Grant goes way up for the lob from Westbrook:
Shooting Guards. Corey Brewer scored 7 points in 32 minutes of action — finishing as a +26. Terrance Ferguson received 16 minutes and was a -17, Alex Abrines got 14 minutes and was a -14, and Josh Huestis saw five minutes and finished as a +2. There’s no logical explanation for Ferguson continuing to receive this much playing time. Huestis being shuffled to the end of the bench over the last two games is a crime.
Dakari. With Steven Adams sitting with a hip contusion, Dakari Johnson made his fifth start of the season. The rookie 7-footer responded to the opportunity with 3 points and 2 rebounds in seven minutes of action. He was replaced by Grant to start the second half and did not see the floor again.
2Pat. Patrick Patterson scored 12 points in 19 minutes of action. He was 2-of-3 from downtown.
The Other Guys. Five Hawks scored in double-figures: Taurean Prince (25), Dennis Schroder (18), Damion Lee (13), Isaiah Taylor (12), and John Collins (10).