The Oklahoma City Thunder had another fantastic night in the Staples Center defeating the Los Angeles Clippers 127-117 on the back of some fantastic shooting from Paul George and Carmelo Anthony and another triple-double from reigning MVP Russell Westbrook his 13th of the season.
PG & Melo
Paul George and Carmelo Anthony have been fantastic for the Thunder on offense and defense. George and Anthony have been shooting terrifically since December and that continued against the Clippers as George shot 12-of-16 from the field at 75 percent and 5-of-8 from three at 62.5 percent while Anthony shot 9-of-12 from the field at 75 percent and 50 percent from three on six shots. The Thunders offense has looked fantastic since they have figured out the hierarchy which has given Russell Westbrook the freedom to play how he plays which in return has allowed George and Anthony to find their rhythm and ultimately their shot. George finished the game with 31 points and Anthony 22.
Paul George is shredding: 31 on 12-16 shooting, 5-8 from 3.
— Royce Young (@royceyoung) January 5, 2018
Moving the ball
The Thunder did a terrific job of moving the ball on offense making the extra passes and making the right passes there was a play in the second half were Anthony had an open look from three and made the extra pass to Raymond Felton in the corner for a missed three it doesn’t matter the shot didn’t fall it mattered the intent by Anthony and the rest of the team for the game on a whole. Westbrook made some fantastic passes finding George and Anthony for threes and mid-range jumpers and also made constant effort to get rookie Terrance Ferguson shots and he was not hitting them in the first half but Westbrook kept getting him the ball and Ferguson started hitting the shot finishing with 11 points on 4-of-12 from the field and 3-of-10 from three. The Thunder had 23 assists for the game while having George and Anthony in foul trouble their could have been even more if not for that.
Nice dish from Westbrook to PG. Russ has a triple-double, 19, 11 and 10.
— Brett Dawson (@BDawsonWrites) January 5, 2018
I noticed in these past two games at Staples Center how much fun this team is having at the moment. Watching Westbrook pulling pranks on teammates while he is on the bench for example when coach Billy Donovan called a timeout he made sure Anthony couldn’t stand up by repeatedly pushing him back to the floor or the excitement the team had when rookie Ferguson was shooting the lights out and putting on a slam dunk contest earlier in the season there wasn’t a feeling of fun but that has changed and along with that has come chemistry on the floor and it shows through their offense scoring 260 points in 27 hours. This team is having fun and its great to see Westbrook having so much fun with George and Anthony the team seems to feed off of his emotions happy or angry. Westbrook even has the post-game interviews must see. CAUTION BAD LANGUAGE!
Melo with the potty mouth 😂😂😂 pic.twitter.com/l7t8flr7aX
— Thunder Digest (@ThunderDigest) January 5, 2018
Points in the paint
The Thunder had a terrible night defending the Los Angeles Clippers big men DeAndre Jordan and Blake Griffin as they combined for 50 points on 18-of-34 shooting at 52.9 percent with Griffin also shooting 2-of-6 from three-point range. The Thunder lost the points in the paint battle 64-50 and it showed the Thunders lack of depth in the big man department as Steven Adams struggled in the first half against the Clippers. The Thunder did a better job in the second half limiting the Clippers big men to 20 points after giving up 30 in the first half.
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Clippers' first-half points in the paint: 42
Thunder opponents' average points in the paint per game: 41.1
— Erik Horne (@ErikHorneOK) January 5, 2018