The Oklahoma City Thunder fell to the Dallas Mavericks 116-113 on New Year’s Eve. Russell Westbrook may have triple-doubled but the Thunder couldn’t defend to save their life. It’s easy to say that Oklahoma City may want to leave these type of performances in 2017.
Russell Westbrook was fantastic for the Thunder in their loss to the Dallas Mavericks recording his 12th triple-double for the season and 38th for 2017 Westbrook finished with 38 points on 17-of-28 shots at 60.6 percent 15 rebounds and 11 assists. Westbrook’s most impressive contribution to the Thunder against the Mavericks was his passing, Westbrook did a fantastic job of making the right decision when making the pass there was one play were Westbrook drove hard to the basket making it look like he was going to slam dunk the ball or lay it in but he made the decision to kick it to the corner to Carmelo Anthony who was open behind the three-point line and made the basket.
One of the most impressive plays I've seen from Westbrook this season, mainly because of the sheer intelligence of it: With a clear 2-for-1 on the table — his favorite thing in the world — he drove at the basket and kicked to Melo in the corner for 3.
— Royce Young (@royceyoung) January 1, 2018
Big three in the second quarter
The Thunders big three were phenomenal in the second quarter combining for 29 of the Thunders 31 second-quarter points shooting 10-of-12 from the field and going perfect from three-point range going 5-of-5. It was George and Anthony doing the scoreboard damage scoring 12 points and 11 respectively but it was exactly what the Thunder needed after losing the first quarter 35-32 and once again showed how high the ceiling on this trio really is.
Can't really say enough about Westbrook's offensive game in the first half. Another masterpiece. No turnovers or 3-point attempts. Clicking with PG and Melo for spot up 3's.
— Erik Horne (@ErikHorneOK) January 1, 2018
The Thunders bench got completely outplayed by the Mavericks bench getting outscored 44-18. The second unit did lose Josh Huestis to the starting lineup because of the absence of Andre Roberson but Huestis wasn’t going to be the difference when you get outscored by 26 points. Once again we got to see a real flaw in this Thunder squad and that is in its depth. Sam Presti is going to need to work some of his magic again to get this team some depth before the trade deadline.
Points in the paint
The Thunder were outscored 46-34 by the Mavericks. The Thunder have done a fantastic job of winning the points in the paint battle this season but weren’t able to against the Mavericks. Steven Adams only managed to take eight shots for the Thunder which isn’t good enough since he has been so good this season for them inside the paint and something Westbrook and the rest of the team has to get back to finding Adams under the basket.
Mavs outscored OKC 46-34 in the paint. Second-chance points were even. Thunder with a 15-0 edge in fastbreak points.
— Brett Dawson (@BDawsonWrites) January 1, 2018
The Thunder turned the ball over 11 times against the Mavericks. The Thunder need to look after the ball at all costs and giving up 11 turnovers is just a little bit too much against a team that can get crazy hot at any moment you don’t want to give the ball up easily. It is something Westbrook has got better at this season he alongside the team needs to continue improving in this area. Steven Adams led the team with three.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!