The Oklahoma City Thunder were able to snap their four-game losing streak with a strong win at home over the Los Angeles Clippers, with a final score of 120-111. It was a big night for Thunder’s big three, especially Paul George. Oklahoma City also got nice contributions from a number of different role players in different areas of the game. Here are some interesting numbers from Friday night’s win:
Paul George was on fire tonight from the very beginning. He put up 21 by halftime, and finished the game with 42 points. He made 13 of his 22 field goal attempts, including hitting four three-pointers.
Up to this point, Oklahoma City has struggled to get to the free throw line. That was not the case tonight, as the Thunder shot 40 free throws, hitting 29 of them. Both Westbrook and George led the way, as they relentlessly attacked the basket and were able to make it count.
It was also a very solid night from Alex Abrines, who quietly played his best game yet thus far in the season. He finished with 14 points, while hitting three of his four attempts from deep. This is the Abrines the Thunder are looking for to contribute nightly off the bench.
As aggressive and assertive George and Westbrook were, Anthony was the one who picked his spots. He only attempted 12 shots, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Though he did not shoot much, Carmelo contributed in a lot of different ways. He was very good defensively, and found a lot of open guys for three-pointers when he was backing down the opponent in the low post.
With Steven Adams out, Dakari Johnson got his first career start, and it paid off big time. Johnson ended the night with a plus-26 in the plus/minus category. He showed flashes with some great ball movement when he had the ball, solid defense on DeAndre Jordan, and even hit a nice mid-range jumper in crunch time. Johnson played 23 minutes, and probably would’ve played more without the foul trouble he had. I don’t know if Donovan will be able to find minutes when Adams is back, but Dakari definitely gave the coaching staff something to look at.
The Thunder have taken a lot of threes this season, but haven’t consistently hit those. Tonight, they had a very solid night, shooting 42.3 percent from deep. They hit 11 threes total, over half of those coming from Paul George and Abrines.
Oklahoma City’s defense isn’t necessarily dominant, but they sure know how to get the opponent to turn over the ball at a high rate. That was no different tonight, as the Clippers turned it over 19 times. The Thunder consistently deflected passes, and came up with a lot of easy steals.
Five technical fouls total were called tonight, three on Oklahoma City and two on Los Angeles. Both teams were pretty talkative with the officials, and obviously the referees grew impatient throughout the night.
All in all, the Thunder were in need of a big win to turn things around, and the Oklahoma City’s big three came through when it mattered. They combined to shoot 52 percent from the field, putting up 78 points all together. Hopefully they can build off this win, and maybe win a few in a row to get everything back on track.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!