A cross over and a jumper that is the old fashion cotton shot sent the Thunder into the win column for the seventh time in their last 10 games as the Thunder beat Dallas 92-91 on Monday night.
Russell Westbrook completely carried the Thunder on his back tonight en route to his 37th triple-double. He finished the game with 37 points, 13 rebounds and 10 assists. Victor Oladipo added 15 points and Taj Gibson added 13 points and was a team high plus-27.
The Thunder ended the game on a 14-0 run after being down by 13 late. Russell Westbrook scored 12 of those 14 points, including the game-winner with 7.1 seconds left.
The leading scorer for the Thunder bench tonight was Enes Kanter, who had six points. It was a horrible showing for the Thunder bench, who finished with a grand total of 17 points. For the game, they were a combined -62.
The Mavericks had six players in double-figures. Nerlens Noel and Wesley Matthews scored 15. On the last possession of the game, Harrison Barnes missed a deep three. This will be Dallas’ first losing season since 1999-00.
The Thunder’s first half offense was atrocious. They had 35 points at halftime after scoring a season-low 10 points in the second quarter. Things picked up in the fourth quarter, as Oklahoma City exploded for 35 points.
Oklahoma City pushed its record to 42-31 with the win. It’s one game behind the Clippers for fifth and two games behind the Jazz for fourth.
In the last nine games of the season, Westbrook needs to average 5.8 rebounds and 6.9 assists per game to average a triple-double.
For most of the night, the Thunder looked extremely sluggish. They were not hitting shots and kept turning the ball over. They ended up with 17 turnovers on the night. In the second half, play started to pick up. Russ finished with 20-5-5 in the second half and had only one turnover.
Next up for the Thunder, they travel to face the Orlando Magic, Victor Oladipo’s former team. The Magic are suffering through a pretty dismal season after making some questionable trades. The Thunder will take on Orlando on at 6 p.m. Wednesday.
KEYS TO THE GAME:
Take care of the ball: C
This grade would be a lot lower if the Thunder didn’t redeem themselves in the second half. Westbrook’s one turnover after halftime was impressive and shows he was playing smart and taking care of the ball. Oklahoma City probably wouldn’t of had to go on such a big run if it didn’t commit so many turnovers.
Bench scoring: F
Luckily, Russell Westbrook bailed out the bench tonight. The bench provided close to nothing with a combined 17 points. Even worse was its plus-minus rating, which ended at a -67. Thunder coach Billy Donovan couldn’t find anyone on the bench who was ready to play tonight.
It is fair to say that most fans thought this game was over with a minute left. The Thunder came storming back to end the game on a 14-0 run with Westbrook leading the charge. What a crazy comeback for the Thunder, as they geo a much-needed victory to stay alive for the fourth and fifth seeds in the playoffs.