Russell Westbrook scored the NBA’s first 50-point triple-double but it wasn’t enough as the Thunder fell to the Houston Rockets 115-111.
Oklahoma City trails the Rockets 2-0 in the best of seven series.
“I don’t think we really had enough ball movement,” Thunder Head Coach Billy Donovan said.
That’s the story of the fourth quarter as Westbrook struggled to shoot the ball and his teammates made questionable decision making. None more than Jerami Grant attacking the rim on a break away, kicked it out to Westbrook, who missed a three.
Oklahoma City saw a 15-point lead evaporate and turn into a 10-point deficit at one point.
We can’t give away leads like that on the road like tha, man,” Westbrook said. “Too difficult to do that especially against this team.”
The fourth quarter negated a quality first quarter and first half for the boys in blue. Oklahoma City jumped out to a 15-point lead in the first half. It appeared all of the issues we saw in the second half on Sunday’s Game 1 were behind the Thunder. They were rebounding and closing out on three-point shooters.
Houston closed within 68-62 at halftime, but Westbrook was once again special, pushing Oklahoma City out to a double-digit lead. A Westbrook step back umper put Oklahoma City up 79-68 with 7:25 left in the quarter.
All of the collapse started when Westbrook went to the bench in the third quarter. Westbrook had just hit a step back three-pointer, putting Oklahoma City up 86-74 with 3:51 remaining in the quarter, but he went to the bench and the Rockets went nuts. Westbrook was forced to come back in late in the third quarter. Houston ended the half on a 12-3 run but the damage had been done. The Rockets made their comeback complete when Eric Gordon nailed a three with 8:08 remaining in regulation.
“I was just mad,” Westbrook said. “I was trying to get on my teammates to understand the importance of the game. Let them understand we cannot give up leads like this on the road.”
Houston had their largest lead with 1:22 as the wagon wheels fell off. Gordon hit a wide open lay up, putting Houston up 114-104 and the Rockets held off a furious Thunder rally that ultimately fell short.
“they made some good shots,” Westbrook said. “We couldn’t score at the rate we were.”
Westbrook finished with 51 points, 13 assists and 10 rebounds. It was the NBA’s first ever 50-point playoff triple-double. It was also Westbrook’s sixth career playoff triple-double. He finished 17-of-43 from the field and was a lowly 3-of-14 from the field. Most nights, these shots from westbrook fall. They did not tonight.
When asked about his stat line, Westbrook with the harshest of responses: “I don’t give a f— about the line. We lost.”
Oklahoma City will travel back to Bricktown for Game 3 and 4 of the series. Game 3 is on Friday night and Sunday will be Game 4. See an 8:30 p.m. tip-off. First game is ESPN and Game 4 will be on ABC.
KEYS TO THE GAME
Oklahoma City rebounded well but the second half was their desmise. Oklahoma City couldn’t do a lot there and Patrick Beverley was one of the reasons why, on top of the foul trouble. Oklahoma City has to do better.
Victor Oladipo: F
One again Oladipo struggled for a majority of the game. He started out with six early points and you felt like it was going to be a good night for him. He finished 4-of-14 and 1-of-7 from deep. He’s now 5-of-26 for the series and 1-of-13 from deep.
Westbrook’s efficiency: B
This would have been an A+ if you use only the first three quarters. He was immaculate in his approach. He was smooth in his transitions to the rim. He was like a free flying eagle, gracefully floating across the sky. Then, it was as if a meteor hit the earth and Westbrook’s world was rocked. Need Clutchbrook back in the fourth.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!