The Oklahoma City Thunder came up short in their regular season finale tonight, losing 111-105 to the Denver Nuggets. The Thunder was outscored by 15 in the second half. Oklahoma City finishes the season 47-35.
Russell Westbrook was honored before the game tonight with a pregame video tribute that will give you goose bumps. Oscar Robertson was there to recognize Russ on his incredible season. Not only did he congratulate Westbrook, he even endorsed him for MVP. The Thunder created an awesome situation for Russell and everyone involved before the game.
It felt more like an exhibition game tonight, especially in the third and fourth quarter. The Nuggets only played seven players, while the Thunder starters sat for most of the game. Oklahoma City did get a good half in that should carry some momentum into the playoffs though.
Russell Westbrook only played 18 minutes total tonight and didn’t touch the court in the second half. He finished the game with 5 points, five rebounds and eight assists. Leading the Thunder was Taj Gibson and Jerami Grant who both scored 13. Grant was really impressive tonight, as he was driving the ball when he got a chance and being ass aggressive as possible. Josh Huestis also looked good in his first real regular season minutes, adding seven points, five rebounds and three blocks.
Alex Abrines made his 94th three pointer on the season tonight, sending him past James Harden on the list of most three pointers made in a season by a Thunder rookie. He finished the game with 11 points and three triples.
The Nuggets had five players score 13 points or more tonight. Nikola Jokic led the way with 29 and Jamal Murray followed closely with 27. Jokic was killing the Thunder on the glass tonight as well, as he grabbed 16 boards.
None of Oklahoma City’s main players played their usual amount of minutes tonight, as they are trying to be as rested as possible heading into the playoff series with Houston this weekend.
Next up for the Thunder will be the Houston Rockets in the first round of the playoffs. The Thunder will open the playoffs against the Rockets on Sunday at 8:00 P.M. This should be quite the first round series with the top two MVP candidates going at it. If the Thunder can keep the Rockets three point barrage under control, this series should come down to the wire.
KEYS TO THE GAME
Slow down Jokic: D+
Jokic killed the Thunder. Scoring wise, he lit it up with 29 points on an efficient 9-of-14 shooting. If that wasn’t enough, he added 16 rebounds too.
Fast break: B
The Thunder got out a lot in transition which led to a lot of free throws and layups. Oklahoma City forced 15 turnovers tonight and racked up 10 steals, allowing them to push the ball.
Try on defense: C+
The Thunder didn’t give up an extreme amount of points tonight, 111 is not that bad. In the first half the Nuggets scored 56 and Oklahoma City was hitting everything and scored 64. When the shots stopped falling for the Thunder, they couldn’t answer Denver’s fourth quarter shooting.We invite you to follow Thunder Digest on Twitter and like Thunder Digest on Facebook. Don't forget to subsribe on Youtube! Our Podcast is on iTunes and on Stitcher. We also have a Thunder Digest Instagram account if you love fun Thunder photography!