The Thunder moved to 13-7 on Wednesday night in Oklahoma City, defeating the Cleveland Cavaliers by a final score of 100-83. After trailing throughout the first half and into the third quarter, Russell Westbrook came alive down the stretch, finishing with 23 points, 19 rebounds, and 15 assists. The triple-double is the 107th of his career — tying Jason Kidd for third-most all-time.
Both teams struggled out of the gate, but Jordan Clarkson caught fire and sparked an 11-0 run to push the Cavs to a 28-21 advantage after one quarter. The Thunder then went ice cold to open the second, as the Cavs took an 11-point lead with 6:54 remaining in the half. With Paul George on the sideline in foul trouble, it was Deonte Burton who sparked the OKC offense — hammering home a baseline slam that led to a 10-0 Thunder run late in the second quarter. Cleveland took a 49-47 lead into the break.
With the offense failing to click, the Thunder defense took over in the third quarter — holding the Cavs to 15 total points on 30 percent shooting across the 12 minutes of basketball. Although the Thunder went 2-of-12 from long range and scored just 26 points in the third, the trio of Westbrook, Paul George, and Jerami Grant combined to shoot 7-of-10 from the field and push OKC to a 73-62 lead after three.
Billy Donovan opened the fourth quarter with the ol’ Raymond Felton, Deonte Burton, Abdel Nader, Patrick Patterson, and Nerlens Noel lineup — and it worked. The group forced turnovers, hustled, Burton had perhaps the block of the season thus far — it was all working. Westbrook checked back in at the 8:20 mark and enjoyed an 80-64 lead when he did so. He added eight points, three rebounds, and four assists over the next few minutes, giving the Thunder the cushion they needed to take the double-digit victory.
Westbrook led the way with his 23-19-15 triple-double. He was joined in double-figures by Jerami Grant (21) and George (18). Clarkson was the leading scorer for Cleveland, finishing with 25 points off the bench.
Deonte Burton’s insane block on 6-11 Ante Zizic:
Mr. Triple-Double: Westbrook was phenomenal in this one, casually dropping the 23-19-15 triple-double on 10-of-17 shooting. He was far more selective with his field goal attempts, went 2-of-5 from deep, and turned the ball over just three times in his 37 minutes. A step in the right direction after Saturday’s struggles against Denver. Also, history:
Starting Five: It was Alex Abrines who drew that start at shooting guard — and boy did he have himself a game. Abrines scored three points on 1-of-9 shooting — 1-of-8 from long range — and missed wide open attempts over, and over, and over again. However, the performance is actually a bit encouraging. He couldn’t buy one against the Cavs, but they were all great looks and he’s on the floor to take them. Keep shooting — for now.
Deonte Time?: So Deonte Burton logged 16 minutes, scored eight points, added two rebounds, and two blocks for good measure. He was a team-high +22 on the evening — and he’s going to make the full roster, isn’t he? Looks like he’s jumped Timothe Luwawu Cabarrot in the current rotation, at the very least.
Quiet Kiwi: Steven Adams had a quiet night in the stat line, wrapping up with six points, five rebounds, and two blocks in 33 minutes of action. He attempted just six field goals (making three), but completely dominated Tristan Thompson down low. Thompson played 35 minutes, but scored just four points on 2-of-8 shooting. He came in averaging 11.4 rebounds per game. Tonight he finished with two.