Warriors Top Thunder Despite Monster Performance From Russell Westbrook
The Thunder had a chance to steal the season-series with Golden State on Tuesday night in Oklahoma City, facing a Warriors team that was extremely short-handed due to injuries. However, despite 44 points and 16 rebounds from Russell Westbrook, OKC came up short down the stretch. Kevin Durant and the Warriors ultimately walked out with a 111-107 victory.
Westbrook shot 15-of-26 (57.7 percent) from the floor in an electrifying performance, but his teammates struggled shooting all night. The Thunder shot just 37 percent in the loss, including 9-of-38 (23.7 percent) from downtown. Paul George and Carmelo Anthony particularly failed to live up to their end of the bargain, combining for 32 points on a 9-of-35 (25.7 percent) shooting clip. They were an abysmal 1-of-7 in a fourth quarter that was as close as two points in the final minute.
Kevin Durant led the way for the Warriors with 34 points and 10 rebounds on 9-of-25 shooting. Klay Thompson added 20 points. Quinn Cook was the only other Golden State player to score in double-figures, scoring 12 points and hitting two crucial free throws in the closing moments.
With Utah beating the Pacers tonight at home, OKC falls to sixth in the Western Conference with a record of 45-34. The Thunder is just a half game up on the seventh-placed Timberwolves and a full game up on the eighth-placed Pelicans with three games to go in the regular season.
37.6: OKC shot just 37.6 percent from the floor. The Warriors hit 49.4 percent of their attempts.
23.7: The Thunder went 9-of-36 from downtown, good for just 23.7 percent. Golden State also struggled from beyond the arc, going 8-of-29 for 27.6 percent.
75.7: OKC did a great job of getting to the line, taking 37 free throws to Golden State’s 24. However, the Thunder missed nine of those looks, going 28-of-37 for 75.7 percent. Not a good look in a game that was decided by four points.
-14: The Warriors dished out 27 assists. On the flip side, the Thunder had just 13 helpers. Not good.
+18: OKC won 58-40 on the glass, including 22-6 on the offensive end.
16 & 18: The Thunder turned it over 16 times, resulting in 18 points for the Warriors.
-24: The Golden State reserves outscored the Thunder bench 38-14. With so many pieces missing for the Dubs, this was particularly inexcusable.
As mentioned, Westbrook did absolutely everything for the Thunder tonight. He scored 44 points, grabbed 16 rebounds, dished out 6 assists, and added a couple steals. 26 of his 44 points came in the second half — 17 in the third quarter alone. His heroics erased a 10-point halftime deficit, giving the Thunder an 81-80 advantage with 1:57 to go in the third. However, the Warriors quickly regained control and never trailed in the fourth.
His final line:
44 pts, 16 reb, 6 ast, 2 stl, 15/26 FG, 3/7 3P, 11/12 FT, 6 TO, +3
Westbrook’s full highlights:
PG13, Melo, & Everyone Else
Rough night for Paul George and Carmelo Anthony. The other two members of the OK3 weren’t difference makers, combining to score just 32 points on 25.7 percent shooting. Their final lines:
George: 20 pts, 8 reb, 2 ast, 5/19 FG, 3/9 3P, -5
George shot 3-of-5 in the first quarter, scoring 10 points in the opening frame. He went 2-of-14 from that point forward, including 1-of-4 in the fourth. Another instance of him coming completely disengaged down the stretch. He ended up as the only starter to finish with a negative net rating.
Melo: 12 pts, 8 reb, 4/16 FG, 0/9 3P, +6
Melo was simply not good tonight, shooting 0-of-9 from downtown and getting picked on defensively. He was continually attacked in the pick-n-roll, routinely ending up stranded trying to guard KD. That did not go well.
All told, every Thunder player not named Russell Westbrook combined to shoot 20-of-67 — just a shade under 30 percent. Even with a thin rotation, the Warriors won’t be beaten by just one guy.
Steve. Steven Adams finished with 7 points and 13 rebounds — 9 of which came on the offensive glass. He wasn’t a big part of the Thunder offense, shooting just 3-of-6 on the evening. He briefly left the game in the third quarter after falling and favoring his hip. Although he did return, that’s something to watch.
AirBrines. Alex Abrines came off the Thunder bench and scored 8 points on 3-of-5 shooting. The most shocking moment of the game came in the second quarter, when Abrines drove the lane, elevated, and absolutely posterized Jordan Bell. Proof:
Corey Brewer. Not a terrible night for the Thunder’s starting shooting guard, as he scored 10 points and added 6 steals. He was 1-of-4 from long distance in his continued decline shooting the ball. His energy is still a boost.
Back in action on Saturday night in Houston. That game tips at 7:30 PM CT on ABC.