The Oklahoma City Thunder (12-8) looked dead late in the fourth quarter against the Washington Wizards (6-11), but Russell Westbrook came alive to steal this win at home. Behind another triple double and game tying three pointer from Westbrook, the Thunder took this game in overtime by a score of 126-115.
If you watched the first half of this game, and didn’t watch the second half, you would’ve been shocked to see this game go to overtime. It was definitely a tale of two halves. Oklahoma City was in control from the very beginning, defending well and hitting shots. Thunder had built an early 13-point lead and seemed they would win this one with ease. Even giving up a 34-point quarter to Washington in the second quarter, the game still felt totally controlled by the Thunder as they got whatever they wanted offensively, shooting 52 percent from the floor in the first half. Halfway through the third, though, is when the tides began to turn.
Oklahoma City went cold everywhere offensively, and the Wizards turned Oklahoma City’s missed shots to easy transition buckets. Bradley Beal, Kelly Oubre, and John Wall led the way in the second half as they began to hit outside shots.
Thunder were down seven late in the fourth with three minutes left, and Oklahoma City looked dead in the water. Westbrook had been shooting poorly all night, as he was five for 24 from the floor at that point. Then, after a big Westbrook put-back, the energy seemed to creep back into the arena.
The Thunder finished the fourth quarter with three big shots from three-point land, including Westbrook’s game tying three to essentially send the game to overtime. Another big part of the late Thunder fourth quarter run, was credit to Billy Donovan going ultra small, with Jerami Grant running the five. The Wizards had no answer for it.
Once overtime started, Oklahoma City began to hit shots like they did in the first half. Even Westbrook, who struggled all night shooting wise, caught fire and led the way as Oklahoma City pulled away from the Wizards in overtime.
With Westbrook shooting the way he did, Oklahoma City had many guys step up offensively to makeup for it. Thunder had six players in double figures, including Victor Oladipo’s 25 points on 63 percent shooting. Kanter finished 14, Steven Adams chipped in 12 of his own, while Roberson and Domantas Sabonis put up 10 points each.
Despite the shooting struggles for the majority of the game, there is not much you can say about Russell Westbrook, except that he is just incredible. He recorded his fourth straight triple double tonight, and his ninth on the season. The man continues to amaze every night, and tonight was no different. He finished with 35 points, 14 rebounds, and 11 assists.
The Oklahoma City Thunder have now won four straight, and has found a very nice flow as a team offensively. The Thunder will look to push the winning streak to five, as they will take on the New Orleans Pelicans in Oklahoma City on Sunday.
Keys To The Game:
Start Quickly: A
Oklahoma City got off to a great start on both ends. They had a 13-point lead after the first quarter, while holding the Wizards to just 19 points.
Limit Wizard’s FT attempts:B
The Wizards are one of the league’s worst when it comes to getting to the line, only averaging 21.6 attempts a game. Tonight, Oklahoma City kept them right around that range, as the Wizards only shot 26 attempts.
Hey Bench, Show up: A
Though they had a cold stretch to end the third quarter, the Oklahoma City bench was overall very good tonight. They finished with 34 bench points, 14 from Kanter. They also did a good job at sustaining the lead in the first half. Billy Donovan also gave a lot of the late game minutes to some Thunder bench players, including Morrow, Grant, and Christon who all played well late.Looking for Oklahoma City Thunder tickets? Thunder Digest has you covered at Totallytickets.com! We invite you to follow Thunder Digest on Twitter and like Thunder Digest on Facebook. Our Podcast is on iTunes. We also have a Thunder Digest Instagram account if you love fun Thunder photography!