If you would’ve told us the Thunder had a 40-point scorer, a player with 17 assists and another one with 23 rebounds, the assumption would be Russell Westbrook had a pretty amazing night. Instead, it was a complete team effort as the Thunder dominated the Sacramento Kings 132-112 on Wednesday night.
Oklahoma City improves to 20-10 on the season. It’s their best record through 30 games since the 2013-14 season.
It was a team effort as Paul George scored 43 points. Russell Westbrook dished out 17 assists and Steven Adams set a career high with 23 rebounds. The Kings made a run but in the end, it was the lethal fire power the Thunder have in their line up that led to the final score.
The first eight minutes of the first quarter was all Sacramento as they held the Thunder at arm’s length but Oklahoma City made their run. After that, it was over. Another 12-4 run put the Thunder out in front for good.
Oklahoma City was without Dennis Schröder and Raymond Felton for leaving the bench during the altercation with the Bulls on Monday night. They were both suspended for one game.
The Kings pushed the Thunder in the third quarter, which is usually Oklahoma City’s hot quarter. After leading by as many as 23 in the third, De’Aaron Fox turned it on. The second year player out of Kentucky got hot and the Kings pushed the Thunder to within eight in the third. However, the Thunder were able to keep the Kings at bay.
The fourth quarter started with the Thunder blowing out the doors on a 10-0 run before the Kings even scored. Oklahoma City’s defense held the Kings scoreless for the first 3:13 of the fourth quarter. By the time the Kings put two points on the board, Oklahoma City already led by 18.
The Big Three were exceptional all game long. From Paul George’s scoring, to Russell Westbrook doing his triple-double thing, to ending with Steven Adams rebounding like a boss, the Thunder had an answer for everything the much improved Kings could throw at them.
The Big Three’s stat line:
Paul George 43 points on 15-of-27 shooting, 4-of-8 from three, 9-of-10 frm the line, 12 rebounds and seven assists.
Steven Adams scored 20 points on 8-of-12 shooting, he was 4-of-4 from the line and had 23 rebounds, nine of them offensive. The 23 rebounds are a new career high for the big man.
Russell Westbrook did his thing. He scored 19 points, dished out 17 assists, pulled down 11 rebounds and finished up with six steals. He has 17 steals over his last three games. It’s the most assists for Westbrook this season.
With the win, Oklahoma City moves to second place in a very tight Western Conference playoff race. They remain a full game back of the Denver Nuggets. Those two losses to the Nuggets are looming huge right now.
Oklahoma City will now travel to Utah for a tough but important divisional matchup on Saturday night. It’s a Mountain time tip-off, an 8 p.m. start. We’ll have all of your game day coverage just like we do every game.
Keys to the Game
Oklahoma City, despite giving up 113 points was pretty good defensively. They held the Kings to 41.9 percent shooting from the floor. Buddy Hield scored 37 points but had to do it on 25 shots, 14 of them were threes. Oklahoma City could’ve done better on three-point defending but we’ll take the win.
Free Throws: D
Woof. Oklahoma City made just 17-of-27 from the line. Russell Westbrook continues missing free throws. He was 2-of-7 from the line, including missing his final five free throws. George and Adams went a combined 13-of-14 from the line to help Oklahoma City. Westbrook has missed 49 free throws this season. Took him 25 games to miss 50 free throw last year. It’ll be 23 games for him this season (assuming he misses one against Utah on Saturday).
Make 3s: A+
It doesn’t happen often but the Thunder went bananas from three, especially in the first quarter. The Kings and the Thunder were trading haymakers and the Thunder, for once, were keeping pace. It was the seventh time this season Oklahoma City shot better than 40 percent from three. It’s the eighth time they made at least 13 threes.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!