The Oklahoma City Thunder used a 38-point third quarter to rally together after the Russell Westbrook injury, to defeat the New Orleans Pelicans 122-116.
Thunder are now on a five game winning streak, after losing their first four, and now are above .500 for the first time this season.
As for the Pelicans, they are on the opposite track of things, as they fall to 4-5 on the year and have lost five straight.
Oklahoma City put up 36 points in the first quarter, the highest scoring first quarter they’ve had all season.
Tonight, though, was the Dennis Schröder show as he showcased how huge he is to this team. Once Westbrook went out with the ankle injury early in the third, it felt like the Pelicans could run away with this one as the energy had been zapped out of the arena. It was quite the opposite though as Hamidou Diallo and Schröder got some fastbreak scores to ignite Oklahoma City.
Dennis finished the night with 22 points, 16 of those coming in the second half. He was the answer constantly in the fourth quarter, hitting big buckets one right after the other.
Oklahoma City led by as much as 14, but behind Julius Randle’s 26 points, New Orleans was able to keep the door open late in the game, but wasn’t ever able to get over the hump to regain the lead.
Anthony Davis scored 20 points, but shot only 35 percent from the floor as Steven Adams was able to keep in check for most of the night.
Adams also had a great night offensively, finishing with 18 points on 75 percent shooting.
The Thunder announced midway through the fourth that Russell Westbrook suffered a left ankle injury, but nothing else was reported. The information right now is limited, but with how severe the ankle injury looked, it wouldn’t be surprising to see him miss some games.
“Right now it is a sprain ankle, I know nothing more than that,” Billy Donovan said.
It is a little easier to take though, knowing Oklahoma City’s next seven games are against opponents with a combined record of 20-46.
The Thunder will be back on the court on Wednesday night in Cleveland versus the Cavaliers, looking for their sixth straight win.
Keys To The Game
It was a pretty average night, shooting wise, for Oklahoma City. They shot below 50 percent from the field, only 37 percent from three, and a poor 71 percent from the free throw line. You’ll take the field goal percentage, but the three point and free throw percentages need to continue to improve.
Free Throws: C
Still, the free throw shooting is a problem. The Thunder are leaving way too many freebies at the line, and at some point it will cost them games.
Stop Fouling: D
It feels like I’m being harsh on the Thunder in a win, but the Pelicans were able to get into the bonus very early in every quarter. This team fouls way too much, and it was a big reason New Orleans was able to hang around till the very end.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!