Author - Chuck Chaney

Thunder lose to historic night

It took the best 3-point shooting night in NBA history and double overtime but the San Antonio Spurs were able to slip by the Oklahoma City Thunder 154-147 on Thursday night.

The Thunder fall to 25-16 on the season and have lost three straight. It’s second time this season Oklahoma City has lost three straight games.

“Obviously, we want the W,” Terrance Ferguson said. “So, it’s not sitting right.”

It almost didn’t seem possible. The Spurs drained three… after three… after three… after three. There’s nothing the Thunder could’ve done. Oklahoma City defended and San Antonio hit some wild shots and they continued to go in. The Spurs led by as many as 16 and the Spurs just never cooled off.

For all of the threes San Antonio hit, it was Ferguson of all people who responded with killer threes as well. He nailed a career high seven treys on 10 attempts. Oklahoma City needed every single point. Ferguson finished with 21 points on 7-of-12 shooting. Over his last two games, Ferguson is 11-of-14 from deep.

Russell Westbrook arguably had his best game this season with 24 points, 13 rebounds and 24 assists. Westbrook’s 24 assists are the 9th most in NBA history (since 1983-84). The 24 assist are the most in the NBA since Dec. 2017 when Rajon Rondo had 25 assists. Westbrook only turned it over three times, third lowest this season.

The Thunder powered back to tie the game with 6:03 left in regulation. However, Steven Adams would leave the game after stepping on the foot of LaMarcus Aldridge. Adams would come back by the end of regulation where the Thunder would use him sparingly. He was forced to come into the second overtime after Jerami Grant fouled out.

The loss is Oklahoma City’s seventh straight in San Antonio. Aldridge had a lot to do with it. Aldridge set a career high with 56 points to lead San Antonio. The last time Oklahoma City won in San Antonio was Dec. 25, 2014. Reggie Jackson was Oklahoma City’s leading scorer in that contest.

There’s so much you could say about the game. From Adams rolling his ankle to Grant’s career high of 25 points. Oklahoma City had their chance. They led multiple times in the first overtime session. However, injuries and foul trouble caught up to the Thunder. Had Steven Adams not gone to the locker room with an ankle sprain, they probably win this game in regulation.

The NBA’s officiating was super inconsistent. A questionable technical foul and a few other weird reversal calls that went in favor of the Spurs leads to fans questioning what happened. Even the announcers seemed a bit bewildered by the reversals.

Oklahoma City had a chance to get within a bucket after a made Paul George 3-pointer. However, the officials ruled Adams was fouled before the shot and Adams would shoot free throws. Adams made the first and missed the second, tipping it out to George who missed a three.

The two teams will throw down again on Saturday night at the Peake. It’s a rare back-to-back for two teams. They’ll tip-off at 7 p.m. As the season continues into the second half of the season, this is turning into a must win game. We’ll have your complete coverage on social media.

Keys to the Game

Force turnovers: B

Oklahoma City forced 17 turnovers, but took 58 minutes to do it. Usually, they do that within just the regulation. However, the Spurs take care of the ball and they forced Oklahoma City to earn every turnover. The Thunder scored 21 points off those 17 turnovers.

Make Free throws: F

The Thunder went 16-of-24 at the line. Westbrook was abysmal, going 2-of-5. Oklahoma City has to get better at shooting free throws. However, at this point of the season, do we really expect any significant improvement? Probably not. It will end up costing the Thunder a playoff game or two.

Need Good Russ: A+

Westbrook was electric all game long. He stepped up and shot well and distributed like a superstar. Sure, he needs to stop taking threes but for the most part, Westbrook embodied everything that is Good Russ. That’s the Westbrook Oklahoma City needs going into the second half of the season.

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Nerlens Noel is in Concussion Protocol

After Tuesday’s terrible accident, the Thunder have released a statement, Nerlens Noel is current in NBA’s Concussion Protocol.

Noel took an elbow to the head and then hit his head on the floor in The third quarter of Oklahoma City’s loss to the Minnesota Timberwolves. Noel would leave on a stretcher and was conscious hen he left the arena.

Per the NBA’s Concussion Policy, Noel will now begin the NBA-mandated Return-to-Participation Protocol. This process includes a series of steps designed to ensure an athlete exhibits symptom-free behavior before resuming basketball activities. There is no predetermined timetable to complete the protocol, as each injury and player is different and recovery time can vary in each case.

Its obvious the elbow wasn’t intentional from Andre Wiggins. Players have stated they don’t think Wiggins did anything intentionally. However, Dennis Schröder took exception to some T-Wolves players laughing and carrying on while Noel was being attended to. Jeff Teague and Schröder were later involved in an altercation, leading to the ejection of Teague on double technical fouls.

It’s unknown when Noel will be back. All of Thunder Nation continues to keep him in our thoughts as he recover.

In 39 games (one start) this season, Noel is averaging 5.1 points, 4.6 rebounds and 1.44 blocks in 13.7 minutes.

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Thunder disheartening in loss to Timberwolves

Oklahoma City fell to 5-5 in their last 10 games with a 119-117 loss to the Timberwolves on Tuesday night.

The loss stung as the Thunder continue to struggle in winnable games. Dismissing the Wizards game against the Wizards and the Thunder have been in their losses. Four of their five losses have been by a combined 10 points.

The Thunder drop to 25-15, the best record through 40 games in the post-KD era. Oklahoma City is still third in the West playoff race.

The scary moment came with mid-third when Nerlens Noel took an elbow off contact from Andrew Wiggins. Noel then hit his head on the floor, appearing to knock him unconscious. He left on a stretcher and on last known update from Thunder head coach Billy Donovan, Noel was at OU Medical Center and no real update was given.

Sometimes things are out of your control and tonight, it appeared it was.

It started with Wiggins. He went bananas. Wiggins as it goes for overall No. 1 selections, has largely a let down… unless he’s playing the Thunder. Wiggins dropped 40 points on Oklahoma City and was ever so dominant as the Timberwolves fans has wished he’d turn into for 82 games. A key to the 40-spot: 18 free throws, officiating crew saw way too much contact and the Thunder never adjusted. Wiggins was never a shooting star in the second half. It was his free throws. He was 10-of-12 from the line in the second half.

“We put them at the free throw line too many times,” Donovan said. “e got hurt on the offensive, I mean defensive glas too many times.”

Despite all of the inconsistent officiating, the Thunder were in it. Heck, they even led with 1:14 remaining in the fourth quarter as Russell Westbrook hit a pull-up jumper from the right nail. As they have in past losses, the Thunder gave up 15 offensive rebounds in the loss to Minnesota, including six in the fourth quarter.

The cold streaks of Paul George and the inconsistency of Westbrook led to the loss from the Thunder side. Westbrook, who had been largely the reason Oklahoma City was even in the game as George went cold in the fourth. However, the play Donovan drew up came up empty as Westbrook attacked the paint, stalled, and ended up taking two ill-advised three-pointers.

“Yeah, we got some looks,” Westbrook said. “Missed them. Move on to the next.”

Minutes after the Noel injury, Dennis Schröder and Jeff Teague were involved in a mini-altercation with Teague heading to the locker rooms with double technical fouls.

Oklahoma City’s bench with the absence of Alex Abrines continues to struggle shooting the three, among other things. OKC’s bench was 2-of-5 from deep but Diallo and others were largely non-existent and were outscored 37-24.

Westbrook finished with 25 points, 19 in the second half, and 16 assists. He only pulled down five rebounds. George had 27 points on 9-of-24 shooting. He was 3-of-12 in the second half with two turnovers. Steven Adams had 20 points and 12 rebounds for the Thunder Kiwi.

The Thunder have to get their head on straight as they have back-to-back games against the San Antonio Spurs. Thursday night’s game is on TNT and is scheduled for a 8:30 p.m. tip-off. On Saturday, they’ll rotate locations and tip-off again at 7 p.m. in Oklahoma City.

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Wizards make OKC disappear

Your superstars can be out but that doesn’t mean you’re out. The Oklahoma City has been witness to that for many moons. That was no different on Sunday night as the Washington Wizards beat the Thunder 116-98 at the ‘Peake.

Oklahoma City trailed by as many as 23 in the game and never seemed to pull off one of those patented runs Oklahoma City has been known for this season.

“82 games,” Russell Westbrook said. “You think you’re going to play good every night, you’ve got another thing coming.”

With the loss, Oklahoma City drops to 25-14 on the season and they’re third in the Western Conference playoff race.

The 18-point loss is the Thunder’s largest loss since a 32-point drumming from the Warriors in Feb. 2018.

Turnovers, or thereof the lack of turnovers, was the real point here. Oklahoma City only forced nine turnovers, a season low. It’s the lowest amount of turnovers for an opponent since the Thunder only forced nine in a win over the Kings in Feb. 2018.

“We turned the ball over too much, at least I did,” Westbrook said. “That’s the story of the game.”

Westbrook turned it over eight times, despite the triple-double. He finished with 22 points, 15 rebounds and 13 assists.

The Thunder fought back, in the second half, eventually taking the lead 65-63 with 7:41 left in the third quarter. It appeared for all of their faults within the game, they fought back and and had the lead.

It was all downhill from there.

Washington outscored Oklahoma City 20-6 over the next six minutes, essentially putting the game out of reach for the Thunder by the end of the third quarter.

“We did well on the road,” Paul George said. “We had some big games that we won and just one of those nights you come home and you see an opponent like the Wizards. You just fall into that trap.”

It was Washington’s board domination that limited the Thunder’s ability for second chance points. The second best offensive rebounding team in the NBA was held to only seven. Steven Adams, the league’s foremost authority on offensive boards had zero. It’s the first time since Nov. 5, 2017 against Portland, where Adams didn’t have an offensive rebound.

No possession epitomized the game more than mid-fourth where the Wizards miss a couple of shots but the Wizards kept fighting their way to the rebound. They got off three offensive rebounds and ended with an open Jeff Green three-pointer. It put the Wizards up 20 again.

“I don’t think we played well enough to put ourselves in a position to win the game,” Thunder head coach Billy Donovan said. “Washington played well. We didn’t rebound well. We didn’t defend well. We didn’t do anything well.”

The Thunder will host the Minnesota Timberwolves on Tuesday night at the ‘Peake. Oklahoma City could use a strong night’s rest after the demoralizing loss. That game is scheduled to tip-off at 7 p.m.

It’s Washington’s first ever win in Oklahoma City. Ever. Not even when the Hornets rented the ‘Peake. They were a combined 0-11 before Sunday’s win over the Thunder.

“We know what we are capable of,” Westbrook said. “We just take this one and move on to the next.”

That’s all you can do with losses like this. You take the result. You throw out the tape and the result and move on. It’s a loss and nothing more.

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Thunder Game Day #39: vs. Washington Wizards

Oklahoma City Thunder (25-13, 13-4 home)

vs.

Washington Wizards (15-24, 4-17 away)

Sunday, January 6 :: 6:00 p.m. CST :: Chesapeake Energy Arena (18,203)
TV Coverage: Fox Sports Oklahoma (DirectTV 675, Cox 37, HD 722, Tulsa Cox 27)
Radio Coverage: 98.1 FM/640AM/97.1 Tulsa
View from the enemyHere.
Line: The Oklahoma City Thunder are a 10-point favorites. The over/under is 221.
Online StreamFS OK | WWLS Sports Animal | Live Stats | Twitter | Facebook
Game Notes: Thunder: here | Wizards: here

FOLLOWING THE ACTION

  • You can catch the radio on Oklahoma City’s WWLS, 98.1 FM. Matt Pinto will be your play-by-play voice. If you’re in Tulsa, catch it on 1450 AM.
  • Chris Fisher and Michael Cage call the game on the Thunder’s flagship station, Fox Sports Oklahoma. You can watch the game there, catch it on NBA League Pass, or use the Fox Sports App (If you’re in Oklahoma).

SCOUTING THE ENEMY

  • The Washington Wizards are 15-24 on the season, 11th in the Eastern Conference.
  • In their last 10 games, the Wizards are 4-6.
  • In their last game, Washington lost to the Miami heat 115-109 on Friday, Jan. 4.
  • Oklahoma City beat the Wizards 134-111 on Nov. 2, 2018 in their first meeting against Oklahoma City.
  • All-time against Washington, the Thunder are 73-61.
  • Since the Thunder relocated, Oklahoma City is 14-6 against the Wizards.
  • When they play at the ‘Peake, the Thunder are 9-0 all-time vs. Washington.
  • Oklahoma City is 5-12 on the road against Houston, one of the worst road records vs. any team for Oklahoma City.
  • Last season, Oklahoma City won the regular season series 2-1, including a 112-107 win and 122-112 loss in Oklahoma City.
  • INJURY REPORT:
    Chris Paul (hamstring) is out.
  • James Ennis III (hamstring) is out.
  • The Thunder’s largest margin of victory over Washington came on March 14, 2011, where Oklahoma City prevailed by a score of 116-89 (27-point margin of victory).
  • Meanwhile, the Thunder’s largest margin of defeat (22 points) vs. the Wizards occurred during an 120-98 loss on Feb. 13, 2017.

THUNDER INJURY REPORT

  • Andre Roberson (ruptured patellar tendon) is out.
  • Alex Abrines (personal) is out.

UNIFORM WATCH



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Blazers Meltdown

  • Another big game. It’s time to make our run
  • Beating the Thunder you just let Westbrook shoot every shot at the end of the game….works everytime
  • Why what is wrong with Moe? We don’t play until Friday.
    He’s unreliable.
  • I was wondering if Westbrook has the most triple doubles in losses in NBA history
    Not at all. In fact, he only has 21 losses in the 114 games in which he’s recorded a triple double, which is fewer than Magic’s 30, Kidd’s 31, and Big O’s 48. His .8158 winning percentage in triple-double games is actually 4th best amongst the top-10 triple-doubler’s in NBA history, and is better than the two people with more than him, Oscar (.7257) and Magic (.7826).
  • If the Blazers loose in the playoffs this year I will be going for OKC.
    As if my opinion of your posts couldn’t get any lower.
  • All i can say is i hate Westbrook.
  • Thunder it’s a good team. We got this one but it’s a quality team
  • Looking over the Thunder roster I really dislike this team, top 3 hate level. Remember when people on this board wanted Noel, glad that didn’t happen.
  • OMG, they’ve got Felton, I hate Felton so we’ve just gotta beat the Thunder. We have to beat them.
  • Lets leave George wide open off of a dead ball turnover, real smart strategy!
  • Refs not calling s*** on OKC early
  • Have I told you how much I hate Evan Turner?
  • Paul George is soooo smooth. This game will be Lillard vs George
  • F*** Paul George and f*** the Refs
  • Nice product there, NBA. Go f*** yourselves.
  • Is the official NBA rule book in braille?
  • STOTTS: HE ESCAPED FROM MY BASEMENT! SOMEONE GET A BALL GAG, LAYMAN’S LOOSE AND PLAYING!!!
  • Guess we gotta give Stotts credit every time he uses basic common sense.
  • Schroder sucks lol
  • Will the Blazers go the entire game without shooting a free throw?
  • I swear, 50 per cent of this game are missed rebounds and the other have are alley oops.
  • Westbrook is so f***ing predictable lol
  • NBA want’s Okc to win that Game
  • Dame blew by Westbrook then Westbrook tried to blow by dame. Too bad dame picked up the foul.
  • I pray we get okc in the playoffs. That’s a fun 7 game series.
  • We have nobody who can stop George. That concerns me.
  • If Westbrook gets hot, this could get ugly.
  • Giving George uncontested 15′ jumpers might not be the best idea…
  • Yeah, but if we guard him he gets FTs.
  • Is there ANYTHING we can do to stop George?
  • we have no answer for Paul George. Just pray he misses shots
  • We got this OKC is weak
  • I knew it would happen
  • If Paul George didn’t snap his leg in half, he’s arguably the best player in the game. Just my opinion
  • I dunno why they keep playing this Schroder scrub, but I’m glad they are.
  • This is the Stotts coaching we know and love…….
  • Can the Blazers finally break the 0-16 streak?
  • 93 points and still in the 3rd quarter. Just letting PG kill us.
  • Time to turn off the TV
  • Imploding at the speed of light!
  • OKC is ramping up its defense. Our passes need to come faster. Too much deliberation.
  • Schroder heard what we said about him
  • Horrible calls to boot
  • I love this board. Can’t let so much as a joke go without the automatic refutation of criticism. It’s like having being in middle school algebra again and having the pockmarked kid at the back with his hand up, yelling, “That’s not true! That’s not the answer! I know the answer and that not it!”
  • The Thunder have been really lucky in the 50/50 balls this half.
  • Cj is like Shawn Kemp level overpaid now
  • Damn Westbrook.
  • Damian get your head out of your f***ing ass. WTF was that shot
  • I think that Westbrook guy is going to be good.
  • That steal by WB is haunting me atm
  • The Thunder have been really lucky in the 50/50 balls this half.
  • Well they’ve been creating them.
  • Why did I bother watching this s***. Game over. Pathetic in so many facets.
  • Great block by Grant.
  • Westbrick completely dominating CJ tonight.
  • Refs are calling such bs shooting fouls in our favour now, to try to make it look like they called a fair game.
  • Refs making some clutch foul calls, giving Blazers a bunch of FTs in crunch time.
  • CJ not clutch.
  • Well came up short…Thunder played a hell of a game
  • CJ McUnclutch….
  • Chokej is the biggest p***y to ever wear a blazer uniform
  • Can we talk about playoffs hahaha
  • Harden is going to destroy us.
  • Man i hate CJ.
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Lakers Meltdown 1.2.19

  • Hey PG, break a leg
  • Let’s kick the (bleep) out of them.
  • If Paul George and a woman whose father’s first name is George get married and have a child, and the mother wants the child named after her father, what would the resulting child’s name be?
    George George?
    George squared?
    GGeeoorrggee?
    George of the George?
  • Westbrook with another 4-22 due to lonzo lockdown defense
  • We have no one who can match up with Adams
  • I’ve been waiting the entire season for this.
  • Russ is going to have a hot shooting night soon, hopefully it’s not tonight
  • Word up for those who are going to the game:  Boo the F out of Paul George
  • BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO
  • BooooooOOOOOOooooooOOOOOOO
  • F Adams y’all
  • Foul by aquaman
  • PG13 pushed off no call
  • LonzoBron
  • George with the blatant stiff arm and the refs just watches it happen
  • Booing PG is pathetic.
  • Thunder defense is scary good
  • How manyw ide open shots we going to miss
  • Sit down PG
  • Brick brick brick
  • Scouting report is out on Hart, he sucks at contesting.
  • I hate Hart guarding Westbrook, he’s going to foul him every time
  • Hart is booty right now. Snap out of it.
  • LMAO PG
  • PG stupider than Hart right now.
  • Lol we plunking these clowns, F Paul George….bum
  • Haha. We hate you PG
  • These Thunder announcers are trash what the (bleep)
  • What a sluggish start for both teams. Man this crowd and atmosphere is embarrassing for a nationally televised game. Quiet, Quiet, Boo PG, Quiet. This doesn’t have to be Cleveland where they’ve been drinking all afternoon before a late start game, but come on.
  • how is it that Shroder wasn’t ejected for that
  • Let’s run these chumps back to OKC.
  • PG had all the space in the world to make that shot
  • Westbrook has 6 rebounds. Stat padding again
  • Westbrook is toxic. Part of the reason Durant left … then again Durant thinks most places are toxic so …
  • SUCK IT PAUL
  • PG barely dunked that, (bleep)
  • Paul George is such a mental midget
  • lol… weak call on that T
  • PG13 gone wild
  • When the hell did Dennis become a shooter
  • Stevenson to the PG13 school of basketball. lol
  • wtf is Lance doing
  • PG didn’t fall for that move. Lance looked surprised.
  • Lance has got to be the dumbest player in the league.
  • I feel like we should be up double digits.
  • Russ is a total ass….but I cant help but like the dude.
    closest to the Mamba mentality in a while.
    minus the championships
  • Lance is our new Artest
    he should elbow George in the head.
    or westbrook. i m fine with either
  • Westbrook shooting 2-12 and air guitarring.
  • Man, PG is so good
    not a superstar but an intermittent all star
  • Hart you’re killing me
  • should’ve made that trade for PG13
  • PG is just feasting on us.
  • Wow, (bleep) defense Josh.
  • Double Paul George. Don’t let him be the scorer. Make Westbrook have to win this game.
  • It feels like PG is the only guy scoring for the Thunder.
  • Refs haven’t called (bleep) on George since he got his 3rd foul .
  • Zubac you bum
  • (bleep). Protect the (bleep) ball Zu.
  • That’s why you don’t let Lonzo handle the ball.
  • Great third quarter. Do we have the stamina to win
  • Keep it close we know OKC has no closers
  • They have no one that can make a shot so all the Lakers need to do is zone up.
  • Lakers are leading OKC without Lebron, Rondo, Kuz.  Let’s get the W.
  • another TO and get Zo back in
  • Simma down Lakers
  • Call timeout you (bleep)!
  • (bleep) you Luke. (bleep) you.
  • Some guy called Nader going off.
  • Death, taxes, and scrubs going off on the Lakers.
  • Lost the lead while PG and RW are on the bench. Come on. (bleep) Luke.
  • playing the sloppy ass thunder style atm
  • So a middle eastern dude is killing us now
  • Westbrook is gonna check back into the game, go off and we’re gonna lose lol.
  • Geez… What the (bleep) happened to our offense yet again.
  • The refs have been the only ones making plays in the last 5 minutes or so.
  • lol at OKC can’t make 2 footers
  • Game over. Lonzo, change your (bleep) form on the free throws the very least.
  • When was our last bucket?
  • Hart is matching Westbrook… miss by miss…
  • The crowd is booing Lonzo, who is now 1 for his last 10 at the FT line.
  • Lonzo getting the boo birds from the fans.
  • Lonzo building a house with Hart and Westbrook… apparently
  • This team has to be historically bad at FTs?
  • How are we this close? We’ve played like (bleep)
  • Why did the Thunder let PG rest for so long? They could have put the game away earlier.
  • GRSB THE BALL. STOP SLAPPONG AT IT.
  • Ouch. That looked painful for Ferguson.
  • Stupid ass Ferguson. Strong Hart.
  • Even Josh Hart gets the whistle on that.
  • Ferguson was dumb for goin up like that..
  • bad defensive play by Ferguson
  • Why isn’t Ingram on Paul George?
  • Ugh. I am concerned that we could not get it together before PG-13 came back in.
  • Luke needs to be fired.
  • Thunder are thoroughly unimpressive, but the Lakers have been getting outworked all night it’s pathetic!
  • (bleep) George
  • God I can’t stand Paul George man. What a (bleep)
    Actually, this is just an ugly basketball game. All around.
  • No one Can make a damn shot.
  • Luke is a clown
  • wow.. Chadler that’s dirty
  • so ferguson can jump on hart with no flagrant, and then tyson gets all ball and they review it?!?
  • this will be the worst game I’ve never watched.
  • Not a flagrant. (bleep) these retards.
  • Chandler didn’t even go for that ball.
  • The look on Pelinka, Lebron and Magic.
  •  Bron telling Maginka to ship them all out.
  • “we don’t need you…..we don’t need you….”
  • PG looking to get 40?
  • westbrook is just relentless… impressive.
  • I really really really really really really want to beat these punks bad in OKC when we’re at full strength. They really tried to clown us at the end, especially grant dunking their last points, with the game decided-You could hear tyson saying something to him about that.
    Classless move
    Thunder being classless isn’t a shocker, especially since they have nothing better to do when they have to endore playing in a crappy city like Oklahoma.
  • We let pg (bleep) in our house.
  • PG-13 whooped our ass tonight
  • Paul George gawdamn we needed this guy
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Paul George drops 37 in Thunder win

The boo’s were loud and vicious early on. However, by the end of the game, it was Paul George who had the final word. George scored 37 points and the Thunder ran away from Staples Center with a 107-100 victory.

The Thunder improved to 24-13 on the year and now have won three out of their last four games.

George struggled early but fought through early foul trouble to really assert himself in his hometown, despite the hatred that came from the grandstands.

George scored nine points in the fourth quarter as the Thunder covercame trailing for most of the second half. He scored 20 points in the second half alone.

The boos started early for George, whose perceived crime is his decision to re-sign quickly with Oklahoma City when he became a free agent last summer. George didn’t even deign to meet with the Lakers about a return to his home state after years of hopeful speculation by Lakers fans and Magic Johnson, who wanted to team James with George.

Some Lakers fans chanted “We don’t need you!” at George in the fourth quarter while he sewed up the Thunder’s win with a ferocious dunk with a minute left.

George finished with 37 points on 15-of-29 shooting. While he was 2-of-11 from deep, it was his four steals and only one turnover that fueled Oklahoma City.

Westbrook recorded his 115th career triple-double. Westbrook still has 11 triple-doubles this season and eight in his last 15 games. However, tonight was his night. He struggled shooting the ball, one of the worst of his career, going 3-of-20 from the floor, including 1-of-8 in the second half. Westbrook finished with 14 points, 16 rebounds and 10 assists on the evening.

George and the Thunder appeared to draw motivation from the booing. George got a technical foul for slapping the backboard after slamming an alley-oop from Westbrook, who mimicked Lakers guard Lance Stephenson’s air guitar celebration moments later when George drew a foul from Stephenson while hitting a jumper.

Oklahoma City led 59-57 at halftime.

Terrance Ferguson left late in the fourth quarter after taking a shot to the head in the fourth quarter.

The Thunder will now take their show on the road, to Portland on Friday night for a key divisional showdown. Oklahoma City hasn’t done well in the Rose city in the last couple of seasons, leaving Friday’s game huge. Tip-off is scheduled for a 9:30 p.m. start.

Keys to the Game

Free throws: D

Oklahoma City shot 20-of-31 from the line. Westbrook was the bright spot, shooting 7-of-10. It was the others that really caught Oklahoma City off guard. Dennis Schröder who is usually reliable from the line, went 1-of-4 and George went 5-of-7. As a team, the Thunder shot only 65 percent.

Defend the three: A+

Oklahoma City held the Lakers to only 7-of-27 from deep. That was huge. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope was 5-of-11 and the rest of the Laker’s club was 2-of-16. The Thunder’s length was a problem all evening long for the Lakers.

Paul George: A+

Despite the foul trouble, Paul George was amazing. He took those booing fans and turned it into fire for his game. He was completely dominate on both sides of the ball, with steals and deflections. There’s a reason why he’s in talk for Defensive Player of the Year and Most Valuable Player.

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Suns Meltdown 12.28.18

The Thunder beat the Suns in a game they probably could’ve lost if it wasn’t for a big fourth quarter from the boys! The Suns fans seemed to keep everything in perspective with their season but you definitely see them lose it as the fourth quarter rolls around. Enjoy the Meltdown!

  • The NBA this year is so weird! Crazy!
  • interesting shot selection from booker so far…
  • Thunder are a really really good team if they could add one more shooter
    His name is Paul george
    i meant on top of him
    playing on top of a player is a bad strategy.
  • Slow it down Book. He is all over the place.
  • Gonna be another 30+ shot attempts game for Book
  • suns fans seem determined to hate the only good things about their franchise apparently
  • Its almost as if . . .That when players look for Ayton, he scores? Good to know
  • we have no one that can guard westbrook
  • thunder can beat you in so many ways
  • Can someone please challenge Westbrook?
  • 3 games in 4 nights against the 3 best teams in the west the f*** is this
  • Play. F***ing. Defense.
  • The defense by the Suns that quarter was about as ugly as a two dollar hooker.
  • Abdul Nader is flexing on us…
  • How fat does Felton look though
  • russ+adams against our bench = moment of truth
  • this team is so much improved to early in the year it’s not even funny
  • What a run That bench mob with defense and speed is so fun to watch
  • I really feel like we’re a 500 team the rest of the season
  • OKC shooting 61% and losing by 1
  • Nader the latest to be put into the HOF after playing the Suns.
  • Westbrook going for the quadruple double tonight
  • so many dumb turnovers
  • You know what’s one smart way for our offense to get going? Get Ayton going!
  • Awful call. Oubre took the charge on WB but didn’t get the call
  • lmao that’s the definition of a superstar call
  • Watching that half was absolutely exhausting.
  • Send Melton to G-league, it’s getting embarrassing.
  • OUbre going to file for patent infringement for blowing kisses, Mikal
  • Nader is killing us
  • 9-0 OKC run. Time to sit a couple guys…
  • this game would be a lot more satisfying if booker was shooting normally
  • Devin get ya head out of ya ass bro
  • ayton staying with schroder. guy is a freak of giant proportions
  • How many points do the Thunder have in the paint? My goodness.
  • 177, just a guess
  • Adams hurt hope he’s ok
  • Yeah, but I won’t complain.
  • Do the Thunder always play this fast and this out of control? My God. This is exhausting just to watch.
  • Back to back turnovers
  • I still don’t think Josh has guarded Westbrook.
  • That was a wild first 3 quarters
  • Can Crawford just fucking stop.
  • Scoreboard broken
  • And Adams is back
  • Crawford has no business being in.
  • That’s it folks …game over. Can’t win at home , despite PG absence…good night
  • Ice cold
  • That’s game.
  • Game Over We could have had this one.
  • Okay so I just checked in. 18-4 this quarter no thank you.
  • WTF is going on
  • Igor has NO clue , Nooooooo f****** clue how to manage this team !!!
  • I hate hearing OKC fans. I want the “this is my home” Book back
  • See what happens when you run your shots through the system
  • All Westbrook
  • I hope you guys enjoyed the trip crashing down to earth tonight. I sure as hell didn’t.
  • Russell ripped out Suns’ heart tonight.
  • With the #1 pick in 2019 NBA draft the Phoenix Suns Select Zion Williamson!
  • Nader owned Oubre there
  • how many Nader haters?
  • SUNS GOT PUNKED
  • Reality people: Okc is the better team.
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Nader’s career high helps OKC beat Phoenix 118-102

Abdel Nader struggled in their last game. It was bad. There were questions of his NBA ability to the point of being compared to Kyle Singler.

That wasn’t the case Friday night. Nader scored a career high 18 points en route to Oklahoma City’s 118-102 win over the Phoenix Suns. Nader had scored just 16 points all season before Friday night’s victory.

“He’s worked really hard,” Thunder coach Billy Donovan said. “Any time you see a guy put that work in and get a chance to be rewarded like that with the minutes, the performance is well-deserving for him because you see what he does every single day with his work ethic.”

Nader converted a three-point play then scored again inside to put the Thunder up 43-35 with 10:02 left in the first half.

But Josh Jackson sank a 19-footer, followed by a 3-pointer, to ignite the surge. Booker also hit a 3-pointer and Mikal Bridges scored from the baseline to put the Suns ahead 51-47 with 5:22 to go. There were five lead changes the rest of the half, with Oklahoma City leading 58-57 at the break.

Nader’s career high companioned with Russell Westbrook dropping his first 40-point game of the season, Oklahoma City stepped up with Paul George and Alex Abrines out. Westbrook finished with 40 points, 12 rebounds and eight assists.

In a season where Westbrook’s explosion has been questioned at times, the former MVP turned on the jets and blew by the Phoenix Suns, who had won six of their last eight games.

“We lean on defense all season,” Westbrook said, “and it’s important that we constantly keep leaning on that to win games.”

Oklahoma City leaned on it in the fourth quarter, for sure. They used it to go on a 23-4 run over a 6-minute 10-second run that spanned the third and mostly the fourth quarter. They held the Suns to only 2-of-11 over that time frame, including 0-of-4 from the three-point line. The Suns attempted zero free throw attempts during the run.

Dennis Schröder scored 10 points during that run. He’d been struggling for most of the game but came through when the Thunder needed someone to step up.

“In the first half, my shot wasn’t falling and everybody else stepped up doing a great job,” Schroder said. “In the second half, everybody gave me confidence, told me to keep shooting and I did and in the fourth quarter I kept it going, shot every shot I could get and it went in.”

The win pushes Oklahoma City to second place in a tight Western Conference playoff race. They remain a half-game behind divisional foe, Denver, for first place.

Oklahoma City will play the Dallas Mavericks on Sunday at 6 p.m in Dallas. Then, they’ll play them again on New Year’s Eve in Oklahoma City.

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