Nick Gallo (okcthunder.com) with a recap of last night’s win over the Suns: “In a tantalizing first half against the Phoenix Suns, the Thunder shot 46.9 percent, including 8-of-14 from three and 10-of-11 from the free throw line while holding Phoenix to just 39 percent shooting and 2-of-13 from behind the arc. The game busted open due to a mesmerizing 22-0 Thunder run midway through the first quarter, where the big kids on the block kept making plays on both ends of the floor. “As a group we sense the energy. We were the more aggressive team,” said George, who hit a season-high 6 three-pointers for 32 points, 8 rebounds and 6 assists. “We just jumped on them. Once you get one stop, you get another. At that point we were just in a groove. We felt good out there.”
Brett Dawson (Athletic) on Paul George getting Russell Westbrook buckets for his birthday: “Paul George had dropped 37 points on the Mavericks, and as he finished his postgame media scrum that night, a year ago Monday, he was reminded that he’d hung a big number on Russell Westbrook’s birthday. Asked then if he’d gotten his Thunder teammate a gift, George replied, “I got him 37.” Westbrook was sidelined on Monday, the day he turned 30, missing a fourth straight game with a sprained left ankle. But George put on a show without him, matching a season-high with 32 points in the Thunder’s 118-101 rout of the Phoenix Suns.”
The PG-to-Grant alley-oop from last night because you have to see it one more time:
Maddie Lee (Oklahoman) with Paul George’s comments on the Carmelo Anthony/Houston situation: “Thunder forward Paul George voiced his support for Carmelo Anthony after shootaround Monday, amid reports that the Rockets and Anthony may soon part ways. “The reason the Rockets aren’t succeeding is not because of Melo,” George said of his former teammate. “It has nothing to do with Melo. For that to be the notion or the headlines is very inaccurate. Fact of the matter is they’re not playing great basketball right now as a group. They have great talent, great players, but it has nothing to do with Melo. Melo’s one of the best scorers, one of the best players, Hall of Famer.”
Clay Horning (Norman Transcript) with Billy Donovan’s comments on Melo: “Despite his struggles in Houston and Oklahoma City, Thunder coach Billy Donovan continued to have nothing but good things to say about his former player Monday. “I really, really like Carmelo … I’ve always felt like he’s been a straight up guy. He’s a guy you can deal with directly, openly and honestly. I think he functions best like that,” Donovan said. “My time with him was really, really positive. I’m not privy to to their situation or what’s going on or what happens there [in Houston]. I don’t think that you’re going to find too many people that know Carmelo who are going to say anything bad about him. He’s a great guy.”
Dan Knitzer (Sir Charles in Charge) with Thunder/Wizards trade ideas: “Trade One: Otto Porter, Jr. for Andre Roberson, Alex Abrines and Patrick Patterson – and perhaps an unprotected first round pick, if necessary. (Washington saves over $5M this year before repeater tax, over $11M next.) Trade Two: Bradley Beal for Hamidou Diallo, Andre Roberson, Alex Abrines and Patrick Patterson–and two unprotected first round picks. (Washington payroll drops almost $4M this year before repeater tax, $10M next year.)”
Andre Roberson sighting:
Around the League: The NBA reacts to Caris Levert’s injury…. KD and Draymond had a heated argument during last night’s loss to the Clippers…. Carmelo Anthony’s reps are reportedly looking at potential landing spots…. Can Melo still help a contender this season?…. Markelle Fultz’s ugly free-throw stroke has returned…. Recapping last night’s NBA action.