Russell Westbrook stared down the Philadelphia bench as the clock wound to zero. It was a culmination of trash talking and monstrous dunks from both teams. Oklahoma City dominated, though when it mattered. The Thunder beat the Philadelphia 76ers 122-112 Sunday evening.
Westbrook finished with 37 points, 14 assists and nine rebounds and only two turnovers as he was the catalyst for Oklahoma City impressive victory.
The Thunder, who came into the game without their best perimeter defender, Andre Roberson, did it as a team. The Thunder outscored Philadelphia 54-37 over the game’s final 19 minutes put the game in the hands of the good guys once more.
Oklahoma City improves to 30-20. It’s the first time this season the Thunder have reached 10 games over .500. The Sixers fall to 24-22 on the season.
The eight-game winning streak is the fifth longest in the NBA this season. All other win streaks were over 10 games.
A slam dunk by Ben Simmons gave the 76ers a 76-68 lead with 7:33 left in the third quarter. It was Philadelphia’s largest lead at that point and that’s where the Thunder had enough.
Westbrook fueled a 12-0 run, giving Oklahoma City an 86-79 lead and the Thunder pushed it out to 92-83 after three quarters. Oklahoma City shot 60 percent from the field in the period.
The Sixers used their starting lineup against the Thunder’s reserves to see Philadelphia charge back and they would tie the game up at 101-all with 6:18 remaining in regulation on a Simmons jam.
Philadelphia would never take the lead.
Carmelo Anthony would hit a big three to give Oklahoma City the lead for good. Steven Adams would then score four of the next six to propel Oklahoma City into the win column.
George scored 31 points and Adams added 20 points and 13 rebounds for the Thunder.
Oklahoma City has now won 18 straight games over the Philadelphia 76ers. The Sixers have not beaten Oklahoma City at the Peake nor have they beaten the Thunder in over 10 years.
For Philadelphia, Embiid had 27 points and 10 rebounds, and Simmons added 22 points.
Oklahoma City will now go on the road with their win streak, which is the longest in the NBA, and travel to the nation’s capital to play the Washington Wizards on Tuesday and then the Nuggest on Thursday night. We’ll have your complete coverage here and on social media.
Keys to the Game
Defend the three: C
It felt like Philadelphia hit a billion threes but in reality they hit 11 of them, not a billion. Embiid hit three, which is a bit surprising but in today’s NBA that happens. The Thunder did pretty well in the fourth quarter, holding the Sixers to only 3-of-9 from deep in the final frame.
Instead of giving this team a D, there’s a decision to up them a grade as they’re short handed as well. Oklahoma City’s Jerami Grant had 11 points off the bench and played ridiculously on both sides of the ball. Oklahoma City could use the same type out of output the rest of the season.
Free Throws: B
Oklahoma City missed more free throws (9) the first time they met than they did tonight (8). It’s wild Oklahoma City took 11 more attempts tonight, going 22-of-30 tonight. Oklahoma City was 10-of-19 in the previous meeting. If the Thunder do something like that again, we might be in overtime again.We invite you to follow Thunder Digest on Twitter and like Thunder Digest on Facebook. Don't forget to subsribe on Youtube! Our Podcast is on iTunes and on Stitcher. We also have a Thunder Digest Instagram account if you love fun Thunder photography!