The Oklahoma City Thunder defeated the Hornets by a final score of 101-91 on Saturday night in Charlotte. The victory snapped the Thunder’s three-game losing streak and proved winning doesn’t always have to be pretty.
Both teams shot around 40 percent in the contest, as neither could get much going throughout. The Thunder outscored Charlotte by 14 in the second half — 13 in the fourth quarter alone — and received a massive boost from its bench to start the final frame. Oklahoma City was also a monster on the boards, grabbing 19 offensive rebounds and turning them into 20 second-chance points.
Russell Westbrook led the way for OKC with 25 points, 10 rebounds and 7 assists. Paul George finished with 17 points. Steven Adams had himself a double-double, contributing 14 points and 11 rebounds.
The win moves the Thunder to 23-20 on the season and temporarily rights the ship after recent struggles. Back in action Monday night against Sacramento.
40.2%: The Thunder shot just 40.2 percent from the floor in the win. Luckily, the Hornets hit on 39.8 percent.
8/26: OKC went 8/26 from long distance. Neither team caught fire from downtown — Charlotte went 9/28.
57: The Thunder won the rebounding battle by a tally of 57-50. OKC also won in the paint, taking a 44-34 advantage.
20 & 19: OKC scored 20 second-chance points on 19 offensive rebounds.
9: The Thunder committed just nine turnovers.
12 & 6: There were 12 lead changes and six ties.
Raymond Felton, Alex Abrines, Josh Huestis, Jerami Grant and Patrick Patterson started the fourth quarter for the Thunder, trailing by a score of 76-73. Over the course of the next five minutes and change, the group shot 8/12 from the floor and turned the deficit into a 93-84 advantage.
The Thunder went on to win the fourth quarter by a score of 28-15, escaping with the 10-point victory. The turnaround can be attributed to the all-bench lineup that got things moving.
Russell Westbrook led the Thunder with 25 points, 10 rebounds, 7 assists and 2 steals. He didn’t shoot particularly well, going 10/27 from the field and 0/3 from downtown. He wrapped up the night with a +5 in 37 minutes.
His highlights via the NBA:
Paul George finished with 17 points on 6/14 shooting. Carmelo Anthony was extremely quiet with just 7 points on a 3/14 clip. In their place, Steven Adams stepped up and contributed a double-double — 14 points and 11 rebounds. He threw in four blocks for good measure.
Adams created a number of looks on his own, snagging seven of the Thunder’s 19 offensive rebounds on the night. He was his normal efficient self, hitting 7/11 from the floor.
Adams to Russ to PG. Dunks are fun.
Alex Abrines doing stuff.
Zombie Abrines. Alex Abrines logged four minutes in Wednesday’s loss to Minnesota and was scoreless in four of the Thunder’s five January games coming in. He then saw 14 minutes of run against Charlotte, scoring 9 points on 3/7 shooting — finishing as a team-best +13. I assume people will want him in the starting lineup come sunrise.
Quiet Melo. Not a great night for Carmelo Anthony. He went 3/14 from the floor, 0/5 from downtown and 3/8 in the mid-range. He did have 10 rebounds, however.
Can’t Quit You, Pat. Patrick Patterson received 17 minutes against the Hornets, scoring 3 points on 1/6 shooting. No less, he was a +4 on the night and I’m still convinced his shot will start falling. This can still be a thing.