Nick Gallo recaps last night’s win over the Lakers: “Russell Westbrook kept attacking the paint, Carmelo Anthony took care of business from the outside and Steven Adams cleaned up the mess for everybody. In a 114-90 Thunder win over the Los Angeles Lakers on Wednesday night, a dominant rebounding effort helped fuel an efficient night on the offensive end for the group as a whole. It started early for the Thunder, who jumped out to an early 20-10 lead after Anthony found Paul George for a cutting dunk. It was happened before the score that defined this contest.”
Royce Young on Carmelo Anthony finally enjoying his role on the Thunder: “Once you accept something, regardless of what it is, I think you become comfortable with it,” he said. “You start putting your all into it, you start working on that role and on that acceptance, and it becomes fun. I think right now, after accepting that role, I think early in December, the game is starting to become fun again for me, fun for us as a team. Any time you get to making shots and winning basketball games, it makes it that much more fun.”
Berry Tramel on this being the Melo the Thunder traded for: “That’s what Carmelo does every once in awhile. Takes his jumpshot and rams it into opponents. Tells the league to face it. He’s older and has more game. That’s what Carmelo told the whippersnapper Lakers on Wednesday night. Carmelo scored 27 points in 27 minutes and, most impressively, took only 15 shots as the Thunder routed Los Angeles 114-90. And you’re reminded of why it was such a big deal when the Thunder acquired Carmelo back in September. On certain nights, in certain situations, he still can score like few who ever have trod an NBA hardwood.”
Fred Katz on Steven Adams’ dirty work against the Lakers: “The Thunder center ripped seven more offensive boards during Wednesday’s win, giving him 22 over this three-game stretch. He finished the win over the Lakers with 21 points and 10 rebounds on 10 of 12 shooting. His offensive boards helped the Thunder pull away during a third quarter when they outscored Los Angeles 33-18 to take a 21-point lead. He, along with Russell Westbrook, who finished with 19 points, six rebounds and seven assists, didn’t play during the fourth quarter”
Christopher Reive (New Zealand Herald) on Steven Adams being in a class of his own: “Adams leads the NBA in offensive rebounds through the halfway point for the 82-game season, averaging more than five per game. If he keeps that pace up for the remaining 37 games of the Thunder’s campaign, he’ll be just the 12th player in league history to average five or more offensive rebounds per game for a season. For a casual basketball fan, it’s by no means a glamour statistic that you’d go looking for in the box score after a game. But offensive rebounds mean extra possessions and second chances.”
Ian Levy (Nylon Calculus) on the Thunder surging in crunch time: “Since the beginning of December, Oklahoma City is 9-3 in close games, with a +8.9 points per 100 possession scoring differential, the ninth-best in the league. Their offense has been roughly league average in these scenarios but their defense has been very strong. In addition to perhaps just benefiting from some late-game luck, the Thunder’s starting lineup began playing much better together (at least before Andre Roberson went out with injury).”
The NBA released its top 15 best-selling jerseys this season: Russell Westbrook rings in at number seven.
Melo is teaming up with LeBron, CP3 & D-Wade to further support racial healing: “Through their work to improve communities across the country, four NBA players and their family foundations are coming together as committed participants in the W.K. Kellogg Foundation’s Truth, Racial Healing & Transformation (TRHT) national effort. The Chris Paul Family Foundation, The Carmelo Anthony Foundation, Wade’s World Foundation, and LeBron James Family Foundation will continue to use their voices, influence and work to bridge divides in communities and ultimately create better opportunities for children and families. Their efforts are supported by a $1 million grant from the Kellogg Foundation.”
Around the League: Kawhi Leonard is out indefinitely in San Antonio…. Kris Dunn took a nasty face-first fall last night in Chicago…. Damian Lillard is frustrated over All-Star snubs…. Trevor Ariza and Gerald Green were both suspended for Monday’s Rockets/Clippers drama…. The Rockets are upset no Clippers were disciplined.