Thunder Runs Out of Gas, Falls to Short-handed Pelicans
The Thunder entered tonight’s contest on the second night of a back-to-back and playing its third game in four days. Despite leading by as many as 16 in the first half, the Thunder was outscored 60-42 in the final two quarters, looking fatigued and void of all competitive spirit. The Pelicans were able to leave Oklahoma City with a 114-100 victory, pushing the Thunder’s losing streak to three games.
Anthony Davis had 43 points and 10 rebounds for New Orleans, shooting 17/34 from the field. E’Twaun Moore filled the Robin-role for Davis, scoring 26 points on a 10/14 clip (4/4 from downtown). The Pelicans as a team shot 51.1 percent from the floor and hit 13 three-pointers.
Steven Adams led the way for OKC with 23 points and 12 rebounds but had his hands full with Davis on the other end. Russell Westbrook, Paul George, and Carmelo Anthony combined for just 44 points on 17/54 (31.5 percent) shooting. The Thunder led by four at the break but the OK3 shot 7/29 (24.1 percent) after halftime.
The loss moves the Thunder to 30-23 ahead of Super Bowl Sunday’s game against the Lakers. That contest tips-off at 1:00 PM CT on ABC.
51.1: The Pelicans shot 51.1 percent from the floor, compared to 38.1 percent for OKC.
54.2: New Orleans shot 13/24 from long range, good for 54.2 percent. On the flipside, the Thunder shot 9/36 for just 25 percent.
85: In an otherwise ugly game, the Thunder shot 17/20 (85 percent) from the free throw line. I hate that this is noteworthy.
52-41: The Thunder won 52-41 on the boards, including 15-5 on the offensive glass.
24: Oklahoma City had 24 assists — an oddly-decent amount for how bad the offense looked. New Orleans had 30 helpers.
56-48: The Pelicans outscored OKC 56-48 in the paint.
16 & 14: The Thunder held a 16-point lead at one point. The Pelicans marched all the way back to build a 14-point lead of their own.
Steven Adams had the most noteworthy night among Thunder players, finishing with 23 points and 12 rebounds on 8/13 shooting. He was the best offensive player on the court for OKC tonight and had another great outing on the offensive glass, finishing with seven.
The OK3 of Russell Westbrook, Paul George, and Carmelo Anthony had a tough time getting much going tonight. Their lines:
Westbrook: 16 pts, 10 rebs, 14 ast, 9 TO, 7/21 FG, 1/7 3P, -9
The triple-double was Westbrook’s 16th of the season but that’s hardly a consolation prize after a game like this. He reverted back to shooting too many threes, turned the ball over nine times, and only took one free throw all night. He’s strung together a few poor performances in a row now.
George: 15 pts, 4 reb, 2 stl, 4/16 FG, 2/9 3P, -11
A night after scoring 43 points and feeling it from everywhere, Paul George came crashing deep into the earth’s crust. He shot 1/5 in the first half, 3/11 in the second, and was nothing like the guy last night in Denver.
Melo: 13 pts, 9 reb, 6/17 FG, 1/3 3P, -9
Carmelo Anthony didn’t shoot well at all — hitting just 6 of 17 on the night. He took 14 two-pointers, which is far too many. I could explain the problem but instead, I’ll just show you:
Grant & Abrines. Jerami Grant and Alex Abrines put up decent stat lines for the second night in a row. Grant had 12 points and 12 rebounds on 6/7 shooting. Abrines logged 20+ minutes again, scoring 14 points on 4/8 shooting from downtown. He was also the only player on the team with a plus-rating, finishing at +5.
Patrick Patterson. Patrick Patterson saw just 13 minutes of action but shot 0/6 from the floor — 0/4 from downtown. I maintain that he should get more minutes but this did the argument no favors.
The Other Guys. Anthony Davis led the Pelicans with 43 points. Three other Pelicans reached double figures: Etwan Moore (26), Darius Miller (11), and Jrue Holiday (11). Moore went 10/14 from the floor and 4/4 from deep. He basically became Jamal Murray from Thursday night’s game in Denver.