4 min read

Tuesday Bolts: 3.13.18

Tuesday Bolts: 3.13.18

Nick Gallo recaps last night’s win over Sacramento: “All confidence and no hesitation brimmed from Carmelo Anthony as he rose and fired three times in the first three minutes on Monday night against the Sacramento Kings. The net snapped three times, twice more than it did the entire game for Anthony on Saturday night against the San Antonio Spurs. But that’s Anthony, one of the most gifted and prolific scorers in NBA history. For Oklahoma City’s benefit, he came out blazing in the Thunder’s 106-101 victory. “A lot of teams like to pack the paint,” point guard Russell Westbrook added. “When (Anthony is) open and just sitting there, we have to make sure we find him.”

NBA.com on Steven Adams’ hip contusion: “Oklahoma City Thunder big man Steven Adams was forced to exit Monday’s game against Sacramento with a hip contusion. The injury took place as Adams was racing to catch a long pass from teammate Russell Westbrook. He fell in the third quarter after colliding with Sacramento’s Zach Randolph and Bogdan Bogdanovic. Adams was already questionable heading into Monday night due to a sprained ankle suffered against San Antonio on Saturday. The New Zealand native is averaging 13.8 points, 9.0 rebounds and 1.3 steals per contest for the Thunder.”

Adams discusses his injury post-game: “I feel good, mate. Just the Australopithecus afarensis. One of those ones.” (Via Royce Young)

Which leads to:

Erik Horne on Jerami Grant stepping up in Adams’ absence: “The Kings outscored the Thunder 15-6 in second-chance points and had a significant advantage in points in the paint (44-34), but Grant had five key points in the fourth quarter and re-established the Thunder’s interior defense. Grant scored a key, twisting left-handed layup after the Thunder went nearly two minutes without a basket. His alley-oop dunk from Russell Westbrook on the fast break gave the Thunder a 10-point lead, its biggest of the night.”

Elias Sports on last night being Russell Westbrook’s 20th triple-double of the season: “Westbrook is only the third player with 20 or more triple-doubles in consecutive seasons, joining Wilt Chamberlain (1966-67 and 1967-68), and Oscar Robertson (5 straight from 1960-61 to 1964-65).”

Brett Dawson takes a look at the Western Conference standings: “It was closer than expected, but it was (briefly, at least) meaningful. Russell Westbrook’s triple-double and the Thunder’s 16 3-pointers pushed OKC to a season-high 11 games over .500 and, at least for a day, into the No. 4 spot in the West.”

Cody Taylor (USA Today) on Corey Brewer believing the Thunder is a breath of fresh air: “Last year was tough,” Brewer said. “We were in a good position over there in Houston. I thought we were playing good basketball and then I go to a team that was rebuilding; wasn’t really trying to win. Now, I come over here and we’re trying to win and do something special. For me, it’s a breath of fresh air.”

Moke Hamilton (USA Today) on Paul George not being a fan of a visit from the VP of Referee Training & Development: “On Monday, Monty McCutchen, the NBA’s Vice President of Referee Training and Development spoke with the Thunder about some of the league’s policies. Paul George didn’t seem to think that the conversation did much good, though. “Not really,” George answered when asked if any good came from the visit. In terms of what was discussed, George seemed to suggest that the purpose of the conference was more for the benefit of the officials. When asked what McCutchen spoke about, George made it seem like it was a one-sided conversation.”

Ryne Nelson (SLAM) on Harrison Barnes saying the 2016 Thunder should have won the NBA title: “My opinion is that OKC was probably the best team in the playoffs that year. I mean they were rollin’. We didn’t have an answer for them. If Klay doesn’t have that crazy Game 6, they’re going to the Finals. That team, the way they were built—rebounding, scoring, they were doing it all.”

Fox Sports previews tonight’s Thunder @ Hawks match-up: “The Thunder (40-29) begin a stretch of three road games over the next week, as they try secure home-court advantage in the Western Conference playoffs. The Hawks (20-47) were mathematically eliminated from the playoffs on Sunday, breaking a 10-year playoff run, and are last in the Eastern Conference. The game is a tough back-to-back for Oklahoma City, which defeated Sacramento 106-101 on Monday for its third straight win. The Thunder got 21 points each from Paul George and Carmelo Anthony.”

Around the League: Kawhi Leonard is nearing return…. Marcus Smart has a tendon injury in his thumb…. Wesley Matthews has a broken leg…. Brandon Jennings shined in his return to the NBA…. A look at the Raptors’ success…. The Blazers have won 10 in a row…. The Grizzlies have lost 18 straight…. The NBA & NBPA announced a mental health wellness program for players.