Westbrook earns third straight triple-double as OKC holds off NOLA, 114-105
The Thunder really had some impressive stretches on offensive tonight and it’s good that the Thunder win against a pretty mediocre New Orleans team, but this probably should’ve been a 40 point blowout.
The Thunder improve to 27-19 this season behind Westbrook’s third straight triple-double and the Stache Bros both getting a double-double. Westbrook had 27 points, 12 rebounds, 10 assists, 1 steal and 1 block. Unfortunately, he also had 8 turnovers, which was part of the reason the Pelicans were able to keep this game a little too close for comfort. Russ wasn’t afraid to shoot tonight, he was 7-of-21 from the field, but also made four three-pointers. So I’m fully expecting to see him shoot until his arm falls off against the Mavs tomorrow. The Westbrook experience is the best experience.
Steven Adams had a one of the best games of his career tonight. 20 points, 11 rebounds, 3 assists, 4 blocks and 1 steal. Remember earlier this season when Adams was barely dunking because of the hand injury? Well, he’s certainly bounced back from that in a huge way. His development on the offensive end is one of the more intriguing upsides of this team. He had his second consecutive game with 4 blocks tonight, he also had 5 offensive rebounds. He’s a humble guy that works as hard as anyone else on the court, it’s really great to see his improvement this year.
Anthony Davis only played 16 minutes after re-aggravating his right quad in the second quarter and the Pelicans couldn’t build up enough momentum to swing back from a 22 point deficit. The Pelicans were down 64-45 going into halftime, but had a 37 point third quarter. They got within 5 points with about five minutes left in the game. They really could’ve used their perennial All Star. Despite being only 5 points down, the Thunder seemed to be a step ahead of New Orleans tonight.
Enes Kanter received four stitches tonight after he got scratched on the cheek by Anthony Davis in the first half. None of that seemed to matter, though. He had 17 points, 11 rebounds and 2 assists. New Orleans was quick to double team Kanter, but he was still able to be effective. He had one of the highlight plays by dunking all over Asik in the first quarter.
Sure, this game was closer than it should’ve been, but sometimes a win is a win. Counting tonight, OKC played six straight road games and have only played two games at home this month. January has been a tough month schedule-wise for OKC, but they’ve shown resiliency and that’s something they can definitely build off of. This was a very winnable game for the Thunder and they executed enough get the win, that’s what’s important. Tomorrow they play Dallas and they’ll need to do the same thing.
- I’m not sure if Anthony Davis was playing at 100% or not tonight when he was on the floor, but I still gotta give credit to the Thunder defense for keeping him to only 8 points when he was out there. Hopefully Davis can get healthy quick, the Pelicans really need him if they’re going to contend for the eighth seed.
- 62 points in the paint for OKC, they were +8 in points in the paint and that was key for winning this game. It opens the floor so much when teams have to clog the paint or double Kanter or Adams.
- Alex Abrines hit 2-of-2 from downtown tonight and had a nice block on Tyreke Evans. He had 11 points.
- The Pelicans had five players in double digits in the scoring category. Jrue Holiday, Tyreke Evans and Solomon Hill all had 14 points. Terrence had 12 points and E’Twaun Moore had 16 points. They rallied together by committee offensively, but it wasn’t enough to pull out a win.
- Victor Oladipo had a quiety effective game with 15 points, 4 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 blocks and 2 steals. He’s very underrated, I don’t understand how Westbrook and Oladipo aren’t considered to be one of the very best back courts in the NBA to a lot of non-Thunder NBA fans.
- Roberson had 8 points on 4-of-4 from the field. He’s gonna get paid this summer. Solomon Hill signed a 4-year, $48 million contract and he’s a very similar player to Roberson.
- Westbrook earned his 23rd triple-double of the season tonight. This was his third straight triple-double, it’s crazy how this just seems normal for him. He’s unreal.
Next up: Home against the Mavs on Thursday