The Thunder picked up their seventh consecutive win on Thursday night in Oklahoma City, defeating the Houston Rockets by a final score of 98-80. Despite Russell Westbrook being sidelined with a sprained ankle, the Thunder used balanced scoring and suffocating defense to stifle the Houston attack — coming away with the victory in front of a raucous crowd inside Chesapeake Energy Arena.
Paul George led the way for OKC with 20 points, 11 rebounds, 6 assists, and 6 steals. Steven Adams was dominant, wrapping up his night with 19 points, 10 rebounds, 4 assists, and 2 steals. All told, six Thunder players finished in double-figures scoring — including Dennis Schroder (14), Terrance Ferguson (14), Jerami Grant (11), and Raymond Felton (10). Carmelo Anthony had a miserable outing in his return to Oklahoma City, as he scored just 2 points on a 1-of-11 night from the field. Probably not how he envisioned it going.
The Thunder move to 7-4 with the victory, a remarkable turnaround considering the 0-4 start. They’ll return to action on Saturday night in Dallas, facing the Mavericks at 7:00 PM CST. Westbrook’s availability for that game has yet to be determined — but his teammates are affording him as much time as needed before making his return.
Paul George highlights:
Steven Adams highlights:
Paul George, Superstar: The Rockets held a 39-38 advantage when George checked into the game at the 6:12 mark of the second quarter — then he proceeded to score 14 of his 20 points over the next six minutes, pushing the Thunder to a 59-45 advantage at the break. His final line of 20 points, 11 rebounds, 6 assists, and 6 steals made up for another night of less than stellar shooting (7-of-21 FG, 3-of-11 3P), as his finish to the second quarter put the Thunder up for good.
Don’t Look Now: Terrance Ferguson scored a season-high 14 points and went 4-of-9 from downtown. He’s quietly shooting 44 percent from deep over the Thunder’s last five games — but his biggest/best play of the night came on defense. Check out this block on 7-footer Isaiah Hartenstein:
Quiet Houston Backcourt: The Houston backcourt of James Harden and Chris Paul struggled in this one. Harden scored 19 points on 7-of-19 shooting and turned the ball over five times. Paul was held scoreless in the first half and wrapped up his night with 10 points on 4-of-11 shooting. He also turned it over five times.
Finish Them: Up 96-73 with less than two minutes to play, George hit Adams with a slick no-look pass for a dunk — putting the finishing touch on a really nice win for the Westbrook-less Thunder: