Bad Russ shows up as OKC gets bucked in Milwaukee

Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

Every now and then the greatest person you know has a bad day. For Russell Westbrook, he really only had a bad half.

It was enough to cost Oklahoma City the game.

Milwaukee overcame a six-point Oklahoma City halftime lead to beat the Thunder 98-94 on Monday night.

The Thunder are now 21-14 on the season.

Russell Westbrook had 18 points in the first half. He was a catalyst for how well the Thunder did so early on. Oklahoma City jumped out to a 27-13 lead in the first quarter on the Bucks. It seemed we were going to see a continuing blowout that we saw against the Clippers on Saturday night. That was not to happen.

Milwaukee attacked and attacked. One of the league’s most efficient offenses and best shooting teams put it on display in the second half. Milwaukee nailed down four three-pointers, while limiting Oklahoma City to a frustrating evening.

After two free throws were made from Malcolm Brogdon with 8.2 seconds remaining, Westbrook had the ball knocked off his leg, giving the final possession to the Bucks. Milwaukee’s defense once again game through.

Westbrook finished 3-of-17 in the second half and an abysmal 0-of-6 from deep. His decision making was questionable at best. Though he led his team in passing, 47, is significantly lower than what we saw against the Clippers on Saturday night. He looked tired and frustrated and when those two come out, it leads to us seeing bad Russ on the court.

Alex Abrines hit a three to put Oklahoma City up 72-69 with 1:38 to go in the third quarter. Milwaukee would respond with a 10-0 run that put the Bucks up 79-72 after three quarters.

A 9-2 run capped off by a Westbrook lay up put Oklahoma City up 88-86 with 5:56 remaining seemed to have put everything together. You know how it goes, Westbrook struggles all half but finally gets one to fall and everything is daisies after that? Not tonight.

Giannis Antetokounmpo hit a runner putting the Bucks up 92-90. Then, back-to-back buckets from John Henson put the Bucks up for good.

Oklahoma City returns to action on Wednesday night against the Hornets. Tip-off is scheduled for 6:30 p.m.


Fundamental defense: C

If this would have been the first quarter or even the first half, we could give this a better grade. It wasn’t and so we can’t. Oklahoma City struggled guarding in the second half and I don’t know whether or not frustration tied into anything but it was a bad half.

Thunder Moneyball: F

Oh boy, this was bad. Russell Westbrook was 2-of-10 from deep and that’s about six too many from the MVP candidate. He was 0-of-6 in the second half by himself. The Thunder were 5-of-11 at halftime and it seemed to be decent, but as a team they were only 4-of-16 in the second half from beyond the three-point line.

Let Russ be Russ: F

You live by the Russ, you die by the Russ. That was no more true tonight than it ever was this season. Oklahoma City’s leader struggled hard and it showed. He wears everything on his sleeve and couldn’t get it in check. On the bright side, Westbrook didn’t get a tech?

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