Author - Marshall Clayton

Westbrook gets 100th triple double, as OKC beats Hawks 119-107

In what was a historical night for Russell Westbrook as he captured his 100th career triple-double, the Oklahoma City Thunder were able to get a win along with it. Oklahoma City, without Steven Adams, were able to come away with a 119-107 road win over the Atlanta Hawks. This is Thunder’s fourth win in a row, and fifth in seven games.

Westbrook had a huge night, as he tallied up 32 points, 12 rebounds and 12 assists. It was a fitting stat line, as he reached a big moment in his career, now just eight triple-doubles behind Jason Kidd. After tonight, the Thunder are 82-18 when Russell gets that triple-double.

It was a slow start for Oklahoma City, who was playing on a second night of a back to back, against the Hawks who are dead last in the Eastern Conference. Atlanta got out to a 12 point lead at halftime, as the Thunder gave up 66 first half points, and showed little effort defensively.

The Hawks fought hard all game, but couldn’t overcome Thunder’s talent and outside shooting, and it helped Oklahoma City a lot when they decided to play defense in the second half.

Oklahoma City, for the second night in a row, were on fire from deep. They hit 16 three-pointers, while shooting 46 percent from distance.

Carmelo Anthony, who finished with 21 points, was scorching from deep, hitting six total three-pointers tonight. Four of those came in the third quarter, when the Thunder came roaring back from being down 12 at half, to up eight midway through the third quarter. Oklahoma City went on a 26-8 scoring run that was over a span of roughly six minutes in that third quarter.

The Hawks were scrappy though, as they kept the game close until late in the fourth quarter when Westbrook and Jerami Grant took over.

As the Thunder were without Adams tonight, Jerami Grant had one of his biggest games of the season. He finished with 20 points, five rebounds, two steals and two blocks. He also drew some key offensive fouls late in the game on Atlanta, that helped Oklahoma City to build a lead late in the game.

Even with all that was going well in that second half for Oklahoma City, Paul George went down hard in midway through the third, hurting his hip and lower back area. He tried to stay in the game, but eventually subbed out and was taken to the lockerroom. He did not return, and there was no update given on his status throughout the game.

The Thunder will now have a couple days off, and hopefully will give George and Adams some time to get healthy before Oklahoma City takes on the Los Angeles Clippers. They will be looking for their fifth win in a row, which would be huge with the Western Conference playoff seeding being so close.

Keys to the Game:

Moving the ball: A

Behind Russell Westbrook’s 12 assists, Oklahoma City was able to rack up 27 total assists. The ball movement was key into getting tons of open looks for guys like Carmelo and Patrick Patterson.

Be aggressive on defense: B

The defensive effort in the first half was pretty poor, but the second half was the total opposite. Thunder held Atlanta to just 41 second half points, while racking up nine steals and 11 blocks as a team.

Simply show up: B+

It was no secret the Thunder slept walk for much of that first half, but they locked in when they needed to. Oklahoma City knows they need every single win that they are supposed to get, and that is exactly what they did tonight.

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Cavaliers on fire from three, beat the Thunder 120-112

It was whole new Cleveland Cavaliers team than the one Oklahoma City put 148 on just a few weeks ago. This time, the Cavaliers came into Chesapeake Arena and hit 16 three-pointers, as Cleveland beat the Thunder 120-112. Behind a great shooting night for Cleveland, was LeBron James who maybe played one of his best games of the season.

LeBron put up 37 points in this one, and had the home crowd dropping their jaws with some of the shots he hit. He was special in the third quarter, as he put up 17 points hitting from absolutely anywhere on the court.

Cleveland was hot from deep for much of the game, especially early. They hit five three-pointers in the first quarter, and was able to maintain that shot making for most of the night. JR Smith led the way, as he finished with six makes from deep, finishing with 18 points on the night.

It was LeBron’s greatness, though, that was the story of the night. His ability to get to the rim and find open shooters is amazing to watch. He had the Oklahoma City defense scrambling for answers all night. As Cleveland put up 120 points, they did it shooting 51 percent from the floor, with 24 total assists.

“LeBron had a big third quarter, but I thought our guys battled and fought,” Billy Donovan said.

“But I thought the big part of the game, there was some rebounds and loose balls we did not come down with,” Donovan continued. “The second chance points for them in crucial time, was big for them.”

Cleveland was out-rebounded by Oklahoma City, but it was the second chances the Cavaliers got late in the game that were back breakers. Cleveland finished with 16 second chance points, in big part due to Larry Nance crashing the offensive glass.

Thunder’s big four had solid nights offensively, especially Steven Adams who was the thorn in the Cavaliers side all game long. He put up 22 points while also grabbing a career-high 17 rebounds. In those 17 rebounds, 12 of those were offensive rebounds, also a career high for Adams. Adams was arguably Oklahoma City’s best player in this game.

Westbrook and Carmelo returned to the lineup tonight after missing the last two games due to ankle injuries. They both showed some rust, while Westbrook was the one that struggled the most. He never seemed to get into a rhythm offensively, and hit just seven of his 19 shot attempts. He still managed to finish with a near triple-double, with 21 points, 12 assists and seven rebounds. He also just had one turnover on the night.

The big difference in tonight’s game, though, was each team’s depth. After the trade deadline, this Cavalier team was totally revamped. It is now one of the deeper teams in the league, and the bench unit tonight was much better than the Thunder’s.

Cleveland got a huge lift from their bench, 51 points coming from their reserves. Jordan Clarkson and Rodney Hood led the way with 14 points each.

On the other hand, the Thunder’s role players left a lot to be desired. It was a totally different story than when these last two teams played. Outside of Jerami Grant, Oklahoma City really had no step up to help with the offensive load. Grant scored 14 points while the rest of the guys outside of the big four combined for six points. All six of those points came from Felton, who had two makes from deep early in the game.

Abrines finished with zero points on 0 for 3 shooting in 23 minutes played. Huestis and Patterson also went scoreless.

The Thunder have a lot of talent, but they will definitely need consistent play from their role players if they expect to go deep into the playoffs.

Oklahoma City now will travel to Memphis and play the Grizzlies on a second night of a back to back. It is their last game before the All-Star break this weekend.

Keys to the game

Defend the three: F

The Cavaliers have been on a tear with their perimeter shooting since the trade deadline, and tonight was no different. They killed the Thunder from deep all game long and it ended up being the difference maker in tonight’s game.

Win the glass: A

Steven Adams was an absolute monster, and gave Cleveland something to worry about if these teams somehow meet up in the finals. Oklahoma City out-rebounded Cleveland 51 to 41, while bringing down 18 offensive boards.

Role players, step up: D

Outside of Grant, the role players disappeared tonight, and were just way worse than Cleveland’s. Thunder have some big wins over some of the best teams in the league, in part due to their play from their role players. Tonight we saw what can happen when you do not get the plays you need out of the role guys.



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No incorrect calls in Thunder/Nuggets buzzer-beating thriller

According to the NBA’s Last Two Minute report that was released on Friday afternoon, there was no missed or incorrect calls in late stages between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the Denver Nuggets.

There was a little controversy among people watching the game, when Nikola Jokic shuffled his feet when inbounding the ball to Gary Harris for the game-winning shot. The league noted in the report, though, that Jokic did indeed shuffle his feet but did not leave the designated throw-in spot which is perfectly legal.

Another questionable non-call was when Denver’s Wilson Chandler and Jerami Grant got tangled up and both fell to the ground right before the game-winning shot by Harris went in. Some Thunder fans were looking for an offensive foul call on Wilson but no whistle came. The report cited the contact as incidental, and a correct no-call.

Finally, the NBA’s report notes that Jokic releases the ball on the throw-in after 5.1 seconds. However, this isn’t noted as correct or incorrect, because it had to be detected by a stopwatch. This makes it impossible to blame a mistake on the referees.

All in all, the league’s officials made all the correct calls late in the game, which is nice to see that this great game was ultimately decided by nothing but the players on the floor.

You can find all the information and other calls from the Last Two Minute report here.

Thunder will look to bounce back tonight at home versus the New Orleans Pelicans.

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Oklahoma City uses fourth quarter comeback, beat Brooklyn 109-108

It was an electric fourth quarter, as the Oklahoma City Thunder stormed back from being down double digits, to win the game versus the Brooklyn Nets 109-108. Thunder were ignited by Raymond Felton, who started the fourth quarter on fire, scoring 10 straight points after Oklahoma City was cold offensively for most of the night. The Thunder have now won five in a row, the NBA’s current longest winning streak. Oklahoma City is now also 27-20 on the year.

It was looking like another game where Oklahoma City was going to lose to another lesser squad, as the Thunder could not get anything to fall offensively. Even though they put up 30 first quarter points, nobody outside of Paul George could find a rhythm.

George single-handedly kept the Thunder alive in the first half, racking up 16 first quarter points, and had a total of 18 at halftime, on 50 percent shooting from the floor.

The Brooklyn Nets were on fire from deep for most of the night, hitting 16 total three-pointers. Joe Harris led the way, as he hit all five of his three-point attempts off the bench.

For Oklahoma City, it was quite the opposite as they could not hit anything from deep, until the fourth quarter. Heading into the final period, the Thunder had hit just two from deep, on 15 attempts. For the most part, they were all good looks that just refused to go in.

That changed in the fourth quarter, as they hit five threes, two of those coming from Felton to begin that final quarter. If not for the hot start by Raymond, Oklahoma City is probably putting another game in the loss column. After Felton got it going, Oklahoma City fed off of that which ignited a huge run.

The Thunder put up 35 points in the final frame, while holding Brooklyn to just 23 points. It was a quarter that made up for a lot of bad play from Oklahoma City in the first three quarters.

Even with the massive fourth quarter from the Thunder, it was still a nail-biter till the very end. For much of the last six minutes, it was back and forth buckets from each team.

After Spencer Dinwiddie hit a layup with just seven second left, it seemed it was going to be another special game for a guy in Dinwiddie who has hit quite a few big shots this year.

But, then Russell Westbrook happened. On the ensuing possession, Westbrook went straight to the rim and immediately regained the lead for Oklahoma City with just three seconds left. It was key defense by Roberson on Dinwiddie that finally sealed the win.

“I really thought this is one of the best wins we have had all year,” Billy Donovan said.

“Our guys just kept fighting and battling all the way through,” Donovan continued, “I thought our guys gave incredible effort.”

As for the big three, Paul George and Russell Westbrook led the way. They both ended up with big scoring nights, combining for 60 points.

George did most of his scoring in the first half, 18 of his 28 points coming in the first 24 minutes. Westbrook was a monster in the second half, including hitting the game-winning layup, but also putting up 20 second half points, ten of those in the fourth quarter.

Carmelo attempted just 12 shots, but had some very key buckets late in the game. Adams also didn’t put up many points but his rebounding was huge. He grabbed 14 total rebounds, nine of those being offensive rebounds.

Even though the Nets aren’t a great team record-wise, this win for Oklahoma City is big, as they have struggled against lesser teams this season. This is another speed bump they have now gotten over, as they continue to get better and better as we are inching closer to the All-Star break.

Oklahoma City now has three games separating them from now to Monday, all coming against Eastern Conference teams who are all playoff contenders. The Thunder could get their winning streak to eight, if they keep playing the way they have been in the past five contests.


Keys to the game: 

Third quarter: C

The Thunder definitely made a run in the third, after being double digits at halftime. They also let the Nets answer that run, and Brooklyn got their lead back to double digits heading into the fourth quarter.

Defend the three: D

Brooklyn loves to shoot the three, and tonight we saw why. They were on fire from deep, and made Oklahoma City pay over and over again. The Nets made 16 total three-pointers, but Oklahoma City did do a better job of defending the perimeter in the final quarter.

Rebound: A

Steven Adams continues to dominate this part of the game, no matter the opponent. Oklahoma City out-rebounded Brooklyn by five, and pulled down 16 total offensive boards compared to just eight for the Nets. Rebounding continues to be a huge factor in Oklahoma City’s wins and their losses, as well.

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Thunder’s big four dominate, as OKC beats Cleveland 148-124

It was a dominant performance from Oklahoma City, as the Thunder destroyed the Cleveland Cavaliers 148-124. It is the second-most points ever scored by the Thunder in a game, where they once scored 149 in a double-overtime game. It also tied the most points the Cavs have ever given up in regulation. Oklahoma City is now 26-20 on the season.

The Thunder got out to an early lead, thanks to Steven Adams, and never looked back. They started the game on a 8-0 run as the Cavaliers had no answers defensively. By the beginning of the second quarter, Thunder had put up 43 points and gotten out to a 19-point lead.

Paul George also got out to a hot start, putting up 13 points in the first quarter. He hit three three-pointers in the opening period, and hit five total on the night. Him and Adams both were in double-digit scoring before the first quarter had ended.

Carmelo Anthony and Westbrook also got in on the fun, doing whatever they wanted offensively. This game even brought out some booing from the Cleveland home crowd, as they were not happy with the Cavs lack of effort, especially defensively.

The Cavaliers body language was pretty poor all game, and even when Cleveland had a couple runs, they still did not seem interested. Oklahoma City, though, did a good job of responding to each run and keeping the crowd out of the game.

A big part in this game came in the middle of the third quarter when LeBron got the Cavaliers back within striking distance. It felt like Oklahoma City was about to have one of their third quarter meltdowns, but the Thunder’s big four was having none of that. They quickly responded with a quick 8-0 run and got the lead back to twenty.

Really nothing could go wrong for the Thunder today. As a team, they shot 58 percent from the floor, 47 percent from deep, while holding the Cavaliers to just 27 percent from deep.

The Thunder dominated the glass, as Steven Adams was just better than anything Cleveland had. Oklahoma City pulled down 16 offensive boards, five of those coming from Adams.

Steven Adams continues to be a huge lift to this team, finishing with 25 points, missing just one shot from the field, along with ten rebounds.

Thunder’s big four combined for 113 points, 36 rebounds, and 26 assists. It was probably the best all around game from Oklahoma City’s four stars. Westbrook was at his best, putting up 23 points, nine rebounds and 20 assists, his second 20-assist game of his career.

Carmelo continued to embrace his stretch-four role as he put up 29 points, getting wide-open mid-range jumpers and also hitting the three.

Paul George was probably the most impressive today, as any shot he put up seemingly went in. He had 25 points at halftime, and finished 36 points along with seven rebounds.

As this season has been quite the roller coaster for this Oklahoma City squad, they have absolutely shown up against NBA’s best. They are now a combined 3-0 against the Houston Rockets, Golden State Warriors, and Cleveland Cavaliers. If you add Boston and San Antonio to that, that makes Oklahoma City 4-2 against those five very good teams.

For all the criticisms Oklahoma City has seen with the roster they have, it is huge to see how they have fared against the NBA’s best. Thunder have shown they can beat anyone with their talent and their hard-nosed defense.

After today’s big game, Oklahoma City will head home and play a very poor Brooklyn Nets team. It will be interesting to watch though, as the Thunder have been known to play down to their opponents talent level. Oklahoma City will be looking to increase their win streak to five in a row.


Keys To The Game:

Third quarter: A

This was a pivotal quarter, as Oklahoma City came out fast in the second half and set the tone. But Cleveland made their run, and the Thunder were ready. After the lead got down to 12, Oklahoma City came out of the timeout and got the lead back to 20. The game was essentially over after that.

Free throws: D

Even if your best game, you have flaws. Free throw shooting was just that for Oklahoma City. They shot just 64 percent from the charity stripe. If this game had been close, that stat could have easily killed the Thunder.

Rebound: A+

Thunder were monsters on the glass, particularly Steven Adams who continues to play like an All-Star. Thunder out-rebounded the Cavs by 24, and by 13 on the offensive glass. It was a total massacre down low by the Thunder.

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Thunder refuse to play defense, lose to Blazers 117-106

It was another lowly performance from the Oklahoma City Thunder, as they lost 117-106 to the Portland Trailblazers on their home floor. They will enter tomorrow night, on a second night of a back to back, on a two game losing streak. This one hurts even more considering there was no Damian Lillard on the court for Portland.

The Thunder once again, with Roberson still out from injury, played awful defense giving up wide-open looks from deep and too many easy buckets underneath. Combine that with 14 Thunder turnovers and poor shooting from the floor, that will get Oklahoma City beat every time.

It was a pretty ugly first half from both teams, as they combined to turn the ball over 19 times while both teams also shot well under 50 percent from the floor.

Oklahoma City falls to 22-19 on the season, their third worst record in franchise history at the midway point.

It was the Thunder’s infamous second half meltdown that showed up once again, that led to the Blazers extending their lead to double digits midway through the third. Blazers led by as much as 20 at one point in the second half.

Even with Roberson out, the defense lacked energy and effort. Thunder all night long were late on rotations while also giving up many second chances on the offensive glass. They all around got out-hustled on that end of the floor.

“In last couple games we’ve really struggled defensively and that’s an area we really need to get back to” Billy Donovan opened up with. “The last 6 or 8 games defensively, we have had some slippage,” Donovan said.

Oklahoma City was outscored 36 to 25 in the third quarter, and Portland never looked back. CJ McCollum led the way, as he finished with 27 points on better than 50 percent shooting from the floor. Nurkic and Shabazz Napier also brought their best game, both putting up 21 and 20 points, respectively.

Offensively, the Thunder’s big three all shot under 50 percent from the floor, as the Thunder shot just 44 percent as a whole.

The big three had their moments, but it wasn’t enough, as Oklahoma City just could not get stops. George and Westbrook put up 22 points each, while Carmelo put up 19 points of his own. Adams also chipped in with 16 points.

Portland while struggling offensively in the first half, found their rhythm after halftime. They put up 63 second half points on better than 60 percent from the floor. Give them credit, as they hit some tough shots, but also seemed to get open looks all night long.

The Thunder have some glaring issues, mainly the second half meltdowns, as well as playing down to their opponents. That was much of the case tonight, as Portland was without their star player in Lillard, but nevertheless, seemed like the better team for most of the game.

After dropping these two very winnable games, the Thunder are now in danger of dropping three in a row, as they will go on the road to face a tough Minnesota team tomorrow night. Again, they will be without Roberson, and will need to find some answers defensively quickly if they want to come out on top tomorrow night.

Keys to the game

Win the third quarter: F

This one is obvious, as this was the quarter the Blazers blew it open. Thunder were outscored by 11, and had no life after the third quarter.

Defense: F

With Andre Roberson, this one is extra important but the Thunder couldn’t come through on this one. They gave up 117 points, and were just awful defensively in that second half.

Rebound: F

Bad grades all around, as the Thunder were out-rebounded by the Blazers, while also giving up too many second chances on the offensive glass. Thunder did pull down 11 offensive rebounds of their own, but obviously it wasn’t enough to not get beat by double digits on their home floor.

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Thunder Digits: Adams, OKC defense saves the day

After an embarrassing home loss to the Charlotte Hornets, the Oklahoma City Thunder responded with a gritty 100-95 road win over the Indiana Pacers. It was pretty ugly offensively, especially for the Big Three. It was the Thunder’s defense that kept them alive and a big game from Steven Adams that led the way to the win. Here are some key numbers from tonight’s win.


Adams had a monumental in tonight’s win, putting up 23 points on 69 percent shooting from the floor. He also added 13 rebounds, nine of those being on the offensive end. He gave the Thunder many second chances offensively, and was by far the most physical player on the court.


It was an awful night for Thunder’s big three, who were abysmal from the floor, and only combined for 34 of the team’s 100 points. They also combined to shoot just 22 percent from the floor, none of the three stars hitting more than four total field goals all night.


It was a big night for the Thunder bench, who combined for 29 bench points. They were very consistent, even when all of the big three were out of the game. They were either cutting down deficits or maintaining the lead for Oklahoma City. Patrick Patterson was a bright spot who looked like a guy the Thunder need, playing great defense and hitting big three-pointers.


Even with his shot not falling most of the night, Westbrook made his presence known with his ninth triple double of the season. He finished the night with 10 points, 17 rebounds and 12 assists. Westbrook and Adams two-man game was very strong tonight, while also Russell got Oklahoma City in transition with all his rebounds on the defensive end.


Alex Abrines continues to flourish while being in the starting lineup for the injured Andre Roberson. He finished the night with 14 points on 63 percent shooting from the floor. He had a key offensive putback late in the fourth that gave Oklahoma City the lead, while also hitting four of his six three-point attempts throughout the game. Abrines had a slow start to the season, but has really found his stride in the last couple weeks.


A big difference in this game was the free throw numbers. Oklahoma City shot 18 more free throws than Indiana did. The Pacers shot just six free throws, compared to the Thunder’s 24 attempts. Even though Oklahoma City only made 15 of those attempts, the poor percentage did not matter since they shot so many more than Indiana.


Victor Oladipo has been on fire much of the season, and it was crucial Oklahoma City slowed him down in order for the Thunder to get a win tonight. Victor did finish with a solid 19 points, but Oklahoma City held him to just 37 percent shooting from the floor. That is even more impressive considering that Thunder’s best perimeter defender in Roberson was out tonight.


When Oklahoma City can hit a decent amount of three-pointers at a good percentage, it usually leads to good things. The Thunder hit 13 total threes tonight, four of those coming from the bench unit. They shot 45 percent from three, even though it was a rough night offensively for the big three. Abrines led the way with his four makes from deep, while Carmelo and George each hit two from deep as well.


After tonight’s win, it probably shows Oklahoma City fans should not be in panic mode, as they are just 2.5 games back from the four seed. Thunder currently sit at the eight seed, just a game below .500. If the Thunder can string a few together in the next couple weeks, they will be right at the top half of the conference once again.


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Dígitos el Thunder: OKC malgasta otro plomo de dos cifras

Fue una fea noche en la ciudad de México en cuanto a los Oklahoma City Thunder, que perdieron un feo a las Nets de Brooklyn 100-95. Los Thunder estaban sin Paul George y Jerami Grant pero no disculpa este resultado. Era una cuestión de mala selección de tiro y la falta de esfuerzo que han contribuido a esta pérdida, el 13 de la temporada para el Thunder . Aquí están algunos números claves en la pérdida de esta noche:


Esto fue definitivamente un cambiador de juego, como el Thunder tiro sólo el 52.2 por ciento de la banda de la caridad. Que lleguen a 12 de sus 23 intentos. Si el Thunder podría tener sólo un golpe un poco más, probablemente evitar esta terrible pérdida.


Era sólo una noche de los porcentajes de pobres, como Russell Westbrook y Carmelo Anthony combinaron para disparar un 32 por ciento de la planta. Westbrook golpeó sólo 10 de sus 27 intentos, mientras que Melo golpeó sólo cinco de sus 20 intentos. Pasar noches ásperas de tiros, pero una gran parte de esto fue simplemente mala selección.


A pesar de que los Nets hacen su gran correr temprano en el tercer trimestre, Oklahoma City agrava jugando muy mal en el cuarto trimestre, anotando solamente 16 puntos total. Tiraron a 28 por ciento en el cuarto, mientras gira el balón más de tres veces así. Brooklyn mientras tanto aguantar 26 en el cuarto, superar a Oklahoma City por dos dígitos.


Con dos jugadores de Thunder hacia fuera con lesiones, Kyle Singler se intensificó, jugar 22 minutos esta noche. Él jugó bastante bien teniendo en cuenta no tocar durante un largo periodo de tiempo. Terminó la noche con nueve puntos y un plus-2 en la categoría de más/menos.


Ofensiva de Oklahoma City fue muy estancada esta noche, terminando con sólo 18 asistencias en su conjunto. La primera mitad fue mucho mejor, con el Thunder moviendo bien la bola y consiguiendo una ventaja de dos dígitos. Oklahoma City tuvo sólo cinco segunda mitad ayuda total.


Como ya hemos visto mucho esta temporada, ciudad de Oklahoma fue ofensivamente en la segunda mitad, mientras que superó por 14. Los Nets poner 51 puntos en la segunda mitad, en comparación con sólo 37 por Oklahoma City.


El Thunder una vez liderado por 16, en que otro juego perdieron donde condujeron por dos dígitos. Muchos problemas podrían resolverse si este equipo podría mantener el foco durante 48 minutos.


Quizás el número más feo de la noche, arrancadores de Oklahoma City fueron un combinado -38 en la categoría de plus-minus. El único que tuvo una positiva calificación neta era irónicamente, Carmelo Anthony. Steven Adams terminó con un -13 aunque él fue de lejos el mejor jugador de Oklahoma City esta noche, terminando con 12 puntos y 14

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Thunder Digits: OKC squanders another double-digit lead

It was an ugly night in Mexico City as far as the Oklahoma City Thunder were concerned, as they lost an ugly one to the Brooklyn Nets 100-95. The Thunder were without Paul George and Jerami Grant but that doesn’t excuse this outcome. It was a matter of poor shot selection and a lack of effort that contributed to this loss, the 13th of the season for the Thunder. Here are some key numbers in tonight’s loss:

52.2 percent

This was definitely a game changer, as the Thunder shot just 52.2 percent from the charity stripe. They hit just 12 of their 22 attempts. If the Thunder could have just a hit a few more, they probably avoid this awful loss.

32 percent

It was just a night of poor percentages, as Russell Westbrook and Carmelo Anthony combined to shoot 32 percent from the floor. Westbrook hit just 10 of his 27 attempts, while Melo hit only five of his 20 attempts. Rough shooting nights do happen, but a big part of this was just poor shot selection.


Even though the Nets made their big run early in the third quarter, Oklahoma City compounded that by playing very poorly in the fourth quarter, only scoring 16 total points. They shot 28 percent in the fourth, while turning the ball over three times as well. Brooklyn meanwhile put up 26 in the fourth, outscoring Oklahoma City by double digits.


With two Thunder players out with injuries, Kyle Singler stepped up, playing 22 minutes tonight. He played pretty well considering not playing for a long period of time. He finished the night with nine points and a plus-2 in the plus/minus category.


Oklahoma City’s offense was very stagnant tonight, finishing with just 18 assists as a whole. The first half was a lot better, with the Thunder moving the ball well and getting a double-digit lead. Oklahoma City only had five second half assists total.


As we have seen a lot this season, Oklahoma City went cold offensively in the second half, while getting outscored by 14. The Nets put up 51 points in the second half, compared to just 37 by Oklahoma City.


The Thunder once led by 16, in which another game they lost where they led by double digits. A lot of problems could be solved if this team could keep the focus for 48 minutes.


Maybe the most ugly number of the night, Oklahoma City’s starters were a combined -38 in the plus-minus category. The only one that had a positive net rating was ironically, Carmelo Anthony. Steven Adams finished with a -13 even though he was by far the best player for Oklahoma City tonight, finishing with 12 points and 14 rebounds.


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Thunder hit a new low, losing to Magic 121-108, recap/notes:

A new low, as the Oklahoma City Thunder dropped an ugly one to the Orlando Magic, 121-108. It was night with a lack of effort defensively from the Thunder, and too many stretches where Oklahoma City just could not get a bucket. With this win, the Magic snap a 9-game losing streak, as the Thunder have now lost three in a row. Those three losses are to the Detroit Pistons, Dallas Mavericks, and Orlando Magic.

Tonight began with a slow start offensively for Oklahoma City, as they found themselves down double digits quickly. They also turned the ball over seven times in the first quarter, four of those from Russell Westbrook.

The Magic put up 31 first quarter points, and that really set the tone on how this game was going to go. They caught fire and from there on never looked back.

Even when the offense was rolling, particularly in the second quarter, the Thunder just couldn’t get stops on the other end. The Magic put up 28-plus points in all four quarters, shooting almost 60 percent from the floor.

Aaron Gordon led the way for Orlando, putting up 40 points along with 15 rebounds. Steven Adams was in foul trouble all night, and Gordon took advantage.

Adams only played 10 first half minutes with foul trouble, and the Thunder defense was very bad when he went to the bench throughout the game.

The game began to get out of hand after a dismal third quarter offensive performance by the Thunder. They went four and a half minutes of game time late in the third without a point, and Orlando responded by expanding their lead to double digits.

“I thought we made some strides offensively, like to see us with a little more stamina and consistency for the 48 minutes,” Billy Donovan said.

“But again, 108 points with the way we play defense is normally a pretty good number” Donovan said.

For perspective on how bad Thunder were at times on offense, there was a stretch in the third quarter that span into the fourth quarter where Oklahoma City missed 17 of their 18 shot attempts. Orlando found themselves up 20 early in the fourth quarter and cruised the rest of the way.

Even with those offensive woes, Donovan is right in 108 points should be enough. But as bad as the offense was at times, the defense was just not there for most of the game.

Westbrook gave it all he had in the fourth quarter, hitting five of his six three-point attempts and attacking relentlessly. He finished the night with 37 points, 20 of those points coming in the fourth quarter.

After the game, the broadcast showed a very dejected Westbrook sitting on the bench as the rest of the team headed to the locker room. It seems this really rough start to the season could be taking its tolls on the team.

At some point, the Thunder have to figure something out. With them being 20 games in, this is the time teams start to find an identity but with this team, it doesn’t feel that way. Thunder now have a few tough games ahead and could find themselves on a bad losing streak if they do not put something together quickly. Up next is the Minnesota Timberwolves at home, who have defeated the Thunder twice this season by a combined five points.

Keys to the game

Rebound: A

Rebounding was not the problem tonight, even with Adams in foul trouble. The Thunder out rebounded the Magic by 11, and grabbed a massive 21 offensive rebounds as the Magic only got two. Usually in these type of games, the Thunder win comfortably, but the defense made this outcome different.

Less is more: F

The Thunder once again gave up way too many points, and found themselves on the losing end. The defense was hard to watch at times, with it being an effort problem more than anything on that side of the ball. As Oklahoma City gave up 121 points tonight, they now are 1-8 when giving up 100 points or more.

Get to the line: B

Oklahoma City did get to the line 30 times, with them attacking the rim very well in the first half. But that changed in the second half as they started to settle way too much, leading to them going cold and Magic blowing this game open.

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