Thunder beat hapless Bulls

The Oklahoma City Thunder took care of business on a normal Wednesday night, beating the Chicago Bulls 92-79.

Oklahoma City now has won three straight and are 7-7 on the year.

It started with the Thunder holding the Chicago Bulls to only seven points in the first quarter. Those seven points ties a franchise record for an opponent single quarter low. Oklahoma City jumped out to a 11-3 in the first few minutes of the game, forcing a quick Bull’s timeout. Chicago would never get remotely closer than that.

Oklahoma City led 27-7 after one quarter and 58-34 at the break.

Russell Westbrook’s facilitation mode was apparent. Westbrook had zero shots and zero points in the first quarter. However, the MVP candidate blew up, scoring 17 points in the second quarter alone. Westbrook finished with 21 points, seven assists and five rebounds on 6-of-13 shooting.

The lead ballooned to 27 in the second half. Westbrook, combined with Carmelo Anthony was a lethal one-two punch the Bulls couldn’t handle.

Just like the first time the Thunder played, it was the defense that set the tone. Oklahoma City held the Bulls to 34.7 percent shooting in this contest. That includes the 31.4 percent in the first half. Oklahoma City forced 17 turnovers, turning it into 22 points. The Thunder had seven steals, forced four shot clock violations and never really let the Bulls get into their offense all night.

Oklahoma City shot only 8-of-30 from three-point range. It’s only the second time this season the Thunder made less than 10 three-pointers. They also hit eight threes in their second loss to Minnesota.

Paul George finished with 13 points on 4-of-15 shooting. Raymond Felton and Patrick Patterson both finished with five points. Dakari Johnson who was starting in place of Steven Adams again finished with five points in 12 minutes. Andre Roberson was 2-of-2 from the floor for four points and six rebounds.

Anthony finished with 18 points and 11 rebounds in his first game back from injury. Jerami Grant powered the Thunder’s bench with 15 points and 11 rebounds.

Oklahoma City will travel to the riverwalk in San Antonio to play the Spurs. That’s a 7 p.m. ESPN tip-off on Friday night.

Keys to the Game

Score: B

Oklahoma City finished with 92 points and only shot 36.1 percent but it was enough as the Bulls aren’t very good. Oklahoma City does this against almost any other team and it’ll cost them. They were able to escape with it tonight.

Share the ball: D

Only 15 assists from the Thunder on 26 buckets. There was way too much ISO ball tonight. Oklahoma City has to do a better job of sharing the ball. Again, against the Bulls, you’ll get away with it. However, against good teams, you’re going to struggle.

Get to the line: A+

Oklahoma City made 32-of-37 at the charity stripe tonight, nearly doubling how many attempts the Bulls had tonight. Russell Westbrook finished 7-of-7 at the line, making him 24-of-26 over his last three games. That’s what you want to see from your leader.

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