The Oklahoma City Thunder survived a third-quarter collapse to defeat the Atlanta Hawks 120-117 thanks to a Russell Westbrook game-winning three-pointer. Westbrook was outstanding for the Thunder finishing the game with 30 points and 15 assists. It took a Westbrook clutch three-pointer to put them down.
Russell Westbrook has been phenomenal since the three-overtime thriller against the Philidelphia 76ers where he took over to get the Thunder home and he continued his form against the Hawks. Westbrook finished with 30 points, seven rebounds, and 15 assists. Westbrook shot 12-of-17 from the field at 70.6 percent and 1-of-2 from three-point range at 50 percent including the game-winning three-pointer.
Westbrook came up clutch at the free throw line where he has struggled all season finishing with 5-of-5 from the line. Westbrook has played completely controlled in the last few games and it has been fantastic for the Thunder as Westbrook has also picked up his effort on defense and he continued that increased effort recording two steals and a big block against the Hawks.
Westbrook's three-game homestand:
30.6 points, 8.6 rebound, 9.3 assists, 2.3 turnovers, 3.0 steals
38-of-58 FGs (65.5 percent)
1.6 3-point attempts per game (2-of-5)
— Erik Horne (@ErikHorneOK) December 23, 2017
Carmelo Anthony was on fire against the Atlanta Hawks from three-point range. Anthony shot 7-of-12 at 58.3 percent. Anthony came up with some big shots for the Thunder as the Hawks were shooting lights out from three-point range shooting 15-of-32 at 46.9 percent. Anthony was the recipient of some fantastic finds by Russell Westbrook and Anthony was up to the task which hasn’t always been the case this season.
Nine of Carmelo Anthony's 15 shots have been 3s, almost all off a catch. That's what Billy Donovan is looking for.
— Royce Young (@royceyoung) December 23, 2017
The Thunder had a fantastic second quarter shooting 14-of-23 from the field at 60.8 percent and a staggering 6-of-7 from three-point range at 85.6 percent that saw the Thunder win the quarter 36-22. The Thunders offense was created because of their great defensive pressure that saw the Thunder create eight turnovers. The Thunder had seven steals and eight defensive rebounds to the Hawks four. The Thunder were pressuring on the defensive end of the ball and lethal on the offensive side it was a fantastic display of what this Thunder team is capable when they lock down on defense and hit their shots.
OKC leads 64-50 at the half. Russ with 10 and 8 assists, Melo with 14 while shooting 4-5 from 3, George with 12 and Adams 7&5. Big 3 combining for 36 points
— Brady Trantham (@BradyDoesSports) December 23, 2017
The Thunder have struggled all season with their shooting but against the Atlanta Hawks, the Thunders shot were falling as the Thunder shot 44-of-82 from the field at 53.7 percent and 13-of-25 from three-point range at 52 percent. Westbrook shot lights out shooting 70.5 percent from the field and 50 percent from three-point range. Anthony shot 58.2 percent from three the Thunder also got great shooting off its bench with Raymond Felton shot 66.7 percent from the field and 66.7 from three-point range. The Thunder look lethal when they have their shot falling. The Thunders extra passing and finding the open shooter has been a key to the Thunders recent shooting success.
The Thunder's big three is clicking as well as they have all season. Paul George is playing downhill and aggressive, Melo is taking catch-and-shoot 3s, and Westbrook is creating great looks.
— Royce Young (@royceyoung) December 23, 2017
The Atlanta Hawks scored 33 points from 19 Thunder turnovers. George had a team-high five turnovers Westbrook was close behind with three the Thunder also had three other players with two turnovers. The Thunders turnovers allowed the Hawks to get back in the game especially in the third quarter where the Thunder turned the ball over eight times that led to the Hawks winning the quarter 31-18.
Hawks now have 33 points off 19 Thunder turnovers.
— Brett Dawson (@BDawsonWrites) December 23, 2017
The Thunders terrible third quarters this season continued against the Hawks as the Thunder let slip a 14 point lead from the first half and lost the third quarter 31-18. The Thunder turned the ball over eight times and allowed the Hawks to shoot 54.5 percent from the field and 50 percent from three-point range. The Thunder struggled from the free throw line in the third quarter hitting 29.9 percent from the line on 10 shots.
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Donovan on the third-quarter struggles: "We didn't play with any pace. We're kinda walking the ball down, and we got caught being stagnant and didn't flow enough."
— Fred Katz (@FredKatz) December 23, 2017