Tag - OKC

Thunder drop second game of the season to the Clippers 108-92

The Oklahoma City Thunder fell to the LA Clippers on Friday night 108-92. The Thunder never could find a way to pull ahead in a game where they fell behind 16-0. Yes, 16-0.

The Thunder are 0-2 on the season. It’s the first time the Thunder have started out the regular season 0-2 since 2014-15, the injury plagued season.

“It’s no panic, we’ve got one of the best players coming back to our team at some point,” Paul George said. “But I take a lot pressure on that. I’ve still got to get this group ready to go.”

The Thunder were without Russell Westbrook for the second straight game of the season, and Dennis Schröder once again started at Point Guard. The Clippers started the game on a 16-0 run, but OKC eventually stabilized and got the deficient down to 7 at the end of the first quarter. The second quarter was filled with solid defense by the Thunder and missed shots by the Clippers. Abrines had 10 points on five shots going into halftime.

The third quarter was ran by George, who made two 3s, one being a 4 point play, and locking down on the defensive end. The Thunder led 77-71 going into the final 12 minutes with confidence and a positive outlook after their mediocre start to the game. The first four minutes both teams traded buckets with the OKC lead staying at around 6. The tides started to turn. At the 6:51 mark, Paul George would make a 3 to tie the game at 90. OKC would only score 2 more points in the last 6 minutes and 51 seconds. The last six minutes were filled with bricks by Dennis Schröder and Paul George, as they would combine for 0-8 shooting. The Clippers just made shots and OKC didn’t.

Dennis Schröder and Paul George combined for 28 points on 9-of-42 shooting, which is unacceptable and the reason why the Thunder lost the game. PG made up for some of his shortcomings on the offensive end in his 3rd quarter stint, but being good one-fourth of the time isn’t going to lead to Ws. Schröder was off the whole game and Felton might have been the better choice to close the game.

The Thunder will return to OKC for their home-opener on Sunday, October 21 to face the winless Sacramento Kings at 6 p.m. local time. Russell Westbrook is likely to make his 2018-19 debut as he was cleared today for full-contact.

Keys to the Game

 

Rebounding A

The Thunder outrebounded the Clippers 52-47 with 15 offensive boards compared to the Clippers 9. Steven Adams had 18 rebounds (6 O 12 D) tonight, which is a great bounce back from his poor performance vs the Warriors on Tuesday.

Free Throws C+

The Thunder were 17-23 from the line on Friday night, which is around 74%. It’s not ideal, but it’s better than the monstrosity that was 15-27 on Tuesday night.

Bench B+

The Thunder’s bench tonight was solid, the starters were the ones that let the team down. The bench scored 38 points, with Raymond Felton leading the bench in scoring with 12. Nerlens Noel played a solid 14 minutes scoring 9 points and locking down on the defensive end. Alex Abrines played 32 (!!) minutes off the bench tonight, scoring 10, but failing to score at all in the second half.

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Three takeaways from Thunder’s 113-101 win over T-Wolves

The game really wasn’t in doubt. Oklahoma City took their show on the road, added in a little special feature of Paul George. Then, it led with the main act of destroying what little hope the T-Wolves had in this preseason game with a multitude of Steven Adams rebounds and box outs.

Yeah, I’m pretty amped about a preseason box out.

In reality, the Thunder did things better than they did on Wednesday night. They took care of a team that made the playoffs last season. They led by double digits throughout the entire second half and a good chunk of the first half, too.

With all that, here are three things I noticed in the first half.

Steven Adams, you lovely man

Steven Adams is the new mayor of the twin cities. Well, in the preseason sense. The fifth-year man out of Pittsburgh dominated in a way that had their own Timberwolves faithful doubting themselves. He was a monster. Is it just the lackadaisical attitude of the the Timberwolves on the night of a preseason game? Who knows but Steven Adams went 7-of-11 from the floor and only took one shot in the second half as the Thunder didn’t really need anything from him in the second half. He finished with 14 points and 13 rebounds.

Diallo stepped up 

I try to keep expectations to a minimum in preseason. However, I look back to Adams, who beast mode all over the preseason his rookie season. He ended up starting over Kendrick Perkins. Then, there was Perry Jones and Jeremy Lamb, who both had good preseasons. So, Hamidou Diallo could be anywhere in there. Tonight, against the Diallo was 3-of-8 from the floor. He had eight points and six rebounds and two steals. He did also have one monster dunk.

Diallo is averaging 6.0 points and 4.0 rebounds in 23.5 minutes this preseason. Stats come and go but his movement off the ball and his defensive executions are what really get your gears going about his ceiling.

The boards

Oklahoma City’s ability to dominate the boards all night. Five different players pulled down at least five rebounds. Adams and Nerlens Noel had 10 rebounds in only 20 minutes tonight. They all were able to limit What Karl Anthony-Towns did tonight. A guy who averaged 12.3 rebounds per game last season really had no other option but stand around and look around. Oklahoma City did a great job tonight on the glass.

The Thunder were 35-11 last season when they won the rebounding battle. If the Thunder are able to rebound at this rate, they’ll put on a really good show this season.

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Three takeaways from OKC’s 97-91 loss to Detroit

The Thunder may have faltered in their first preseason game out of the gates on the scoreboard but in reality, they’re winners. Oklahoma City played well without the likes of Paul George and some guy name Russell Westbrook. What might be the wildest thing is Andre Drummond, the Pistons’ center, played 34 minutes. In a pointless game. That doesn’t matter.

Anyway, let’s break down three quick things about the Thunder’s first preseason game

 

Adams-Schröder Pick-n-roll

These two have good chemistry already. Adams, due to a lack of help, really rolled with the second string a lot last season. This season, with Nerlens Noel helping, that could and should change. The two international bros found their spots early and often. It’s really was Schröder replacing Westbrook in the deadly PnR that did the Pistons in. Sure, you can’t run it for 48 minutes but in select spots the two really found a good play off one another and made the Pistons pay more than Dwayne Casey would want to admit.

Now, this could come in handy if Adams is in there with the second team or if Schröder is running a two-point guard system with Westbrook. That allows Westbrook to work off the ball and the Thunder all of a sudden have huge mismatches all over the court. I’m salivating just thinking about it.

Thunder made their free throws

The last two seasons, the Oklahoma City Thunder have ranked 29th and 26th the last two seasons from the free throw line. They shot an average of 73.2 percent. It really became a point where the Thunder lost a handful of games they probably should’ve won because they didn’t convert their free throw opportunities. That said, it seemed a little different on Wednesday night. Oklahoma CIty made 22-of-28 from the line (78.6 percent). That sounds average but would’ve ranked the Thunder sixth in the NBA last season.

Westbrook struggled from the line last season. However, Schröder, yes there his name again, is a career 83 percent free throw shooter. The freshly traded Thunder point man went 9-of-9 from the free throw line and that’s why there’s such an elevated free throw percentage. The rest of the team went 13-of-18 (72.2 percent). There is still work to be had.

Who is Nerlens Noel going to be?

His numbers may be skewed as he guarded Drummond for basically three quarters. That’s fine. What Noel did all night was defend and play basketball. I’ll take his effort and output 60 out of 82 games a year. That type of output will get him a nice contract. Drummond, being one of the better big men in the league, needed to eat up against scrubs to get his gaudy numbers.

Noel shot alright, defended fine and did what was asked of him. In a new system and a new city, the big man is trying to figure things out. In his first game with the Thunder, I give him a B. The criticism is soft as the first game of the season is in the books. As the rotation smooths out and the starters are back. I’m interested in what role Noel is going to craft for himself. We don’t need another Dakari Johnson.

Oklahoma City takes on the Minnesota Timberwolves on Friday night in Minnesota. The Thunder and T-Wolves tip off at 7 p.m. It’ll be only broadcasted live on okcthunder.com. We’ll have your complete game coverage on Social media.

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Jerami Grant ready for primetime

As an unrestricted free agent this past offseason, forward Jerami Grant reportedly had a handful of potential suitors. Despite interest elsewhere, he quickly re-upped with OKC by signing three-year, $27 million contract on July 1.

“It’s big, it’s the start of the season,” Grant said. “I put in a lot of work over the summer and the goal is to continue building team chemistry. I feel like we did a good job building that last season.”

“Everything about the team and the organization made it an easy decision for me to return,” Grant said. “I’ve been here for a couple years and have gotten comfortable. It was a no-brainer for me.”

Grant is one of two players that could be starting at the Power Forward position this year, with Patrick Patterson being the other option. Patterson brings more of a shooting approach with corner 3s, while playing Grant would sacrifice three-point shooting for more athleticism and switching power on the defensive end.

“I love playing fast; that’s what I’ve been doing my whole career,” Grant said. “Excited for what this year brings.”

The Thunder’s lineups in the 2018 playoffs thrived when Grant was on the floor, outscoring the Jazz by 8.9 points per game.

A lineup that could see success this year includes Westbrook, Abrines, George, Grant, and Adams. This lineup saw massive success in the little time it was used last year; in the playoffs (below) and the regular season (above).

Grant, 24, is still at the beginning of his career. He has improved every year that he’s been in the league, and is poised to continue that trend. His role and importance will only increase this year with the departure of Carmelo Anthony and the uncertainty of who will be the starting Power-Forward.

“Every team needs that kind of guy… you can plug him in everywhere,” Paul George said. “He plays quick and can get around. Special kind of player that I was vouching for to come back.”

Grant was traded to the Thunder two games into the 2016-17 season for Ersan Ilyasova and a protected first round pick. He made a big improvement from his first season with the Thunder to his second season by upping his Field goal percentage from 46.9 percent to 53.5 percent on more shots taken.

“I love playing fast; that’s what I’ve been doing my whole career,” Grant said. “Excited for what this year brings.”

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Tyreke Evans and OKC have mutual interest

While Oklahoma City fans were celebrating the Paul George commitment and then cringing over the large salary cap, General Manager Sam Presti was busy workin in Los Angeles on Sunday.

Tyreke Evans, an unrestricted free agent, met with numerous teams in Los Angeles on Sunday afternoon, including with your Oklahoma City Thunder.

Evans, 28, was the 2009-10 Rookie of the Year with the Kings but since ten has seen his career go on an up-and-down roller coaster ride. He’s played with three teams, Sacramento, New Orleans and Memphis. His time in Memphis was weird as he sat out numerous games around the trade deadline as the Grizzlies were looking to move him to a more competitive team.

Last season with the Grizzlies, Evans averaged 19.4 points, 5.1 rebounds, and 5.3 assists in 30 minutes per game. While he wouldn’t be a 30 minute per game with the Thunder. He would provide an instant offensive threat off the bench.

Evans shot 40 percent from three and 45.2 percent from the field. His 78.5 percent free throw shooting percentage is second best of his career

It’s unknown what type of payment Evans would receive. Last season, he was paid 3.2 million with the Grizzlies. When he was in New Orleans, he made over $10 million per season. There’s a feeling Evans could sign a one-year deal and hit the market in 2019 when teams have a lot more free agency money.

Other teams interested in Evans’ services: the Lakers, the Grizzlies, the Hornets, and the Warriors.

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Peake & Roll Podcast E97: #MeloRevengeTour2k19

Chuck Chaney and George Stoia hop on the Peake & Roll to discuss the Paul George signing. George pitches his ultimate project yet, the Melo Revenge Tour 2k19.

2:00 Are we all recovered from the PG news? Hungover?
3:15 LeBron James to LA without Paul George
4:45 Lance “whisper in my ear” Stephenson to the Lakers?
5:10 The breakdown of what happened with the party (please don’t judge us on how we say NAS)
6:25 Where were you when PG made his announcement
8:50 SALTY LAKER FANS TEARS ARE MY FUEL
10:15 Whataburger and Frontier City is better than Los Angeles
13:45 George will fight over you over QuikTrip
15:00 Chuck & George get off topic and talk about jobs and HS Football
21:37 Hashtag Melo Revenge Tour 2k19
25:01 did PG and LeBron make their decisions a long time ago?
26:30 ANDRE ROBERSON IS UNDER RATED
28:45 Let Melo Start. We have a solution
30:00 Nerlans NOEL!
32:30 we love you Felton
34:00 OKC learned from their mistakes
36:00 Finally, a superstar chooses OKC
38:30 George needs to go to 8-mile
39:30 we miss you Brady

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George needs OKC, just as OKC needs George

Sure, Russell Westbrook’s logo is on the building. However, It’s definitely a the final presentation of a year long attempt to woo Paul George.

George, who’s a free agent in about an hour, will have his choice of teams. It’s really come down to Oklahoma City and the Los Angeles Lakers.

Oklahoma City traded for George a year ago, knowing full well that he could opt out and head to Los Angeles. The big risk, big reward of Presti’s decision is about to find a conclusion here in a matter of hours or days. By July 6, at the latest, we’ll have a position to whether or not trading assets in Victor Oladipo and Domantas Sabonis paid off.

Over the last couple of months, the smoke signals have been going out for a bit. George is leaning toward re-signing with the Thunder. George, who was named an all-star in his first season with the Thunder, said he didn’t play up to his potential in his three-part documentary on ESPN. He understand how good the Thunder were for those two months. From Dec. 1-Jan. 27 (date of Andre Roberson’s injury). The potential for greatness is there.

On the other hand, George grew up in Los Angeles. He said he didn’t pretend he was playing for the Pacers or the Thunder. He pretended to hit game winners for the Lakers. They’re always in the back of his mind. Rightfully so. Everyone wants to find a way to win their hometown a championship. However, as you get older you realize the priorities change. For George, that’s happening. While the Lakers would ultimately be his go home spot. The Thunder currently provide a better opportunity to win a championship. Playing next to a former MVP in Russell Westbrook, George’s percentages skyrocketed into career highs.

George wants to win a ring. While LeBron James going to Los Angeles could help that cause. It’s still Oklahoma City. In the backroads of Arcadia, Oklahoma. Right down the road from the redbarn and from Pops, George is going to get a final pitch. He’s going to realize Russell Westbrook and the Oklahoma City Thunder are his best bet to take down the Warriors and climb the elusive ladder to win a championship.

Paul George fits Oklahoma City like a glove, from personality to play. George might not be KD. What he is though, is a quality person and player that will help the Thunder finally get out of the first round and hopefully back to the finals.

If George doesn’t even give the Lakers an interview, who does that say more about, the Thunder or the Lakers? Oklahoma City has been through a lot. They deserve this verbal commitment tonight.

Oklahoma City needs George.

George, if he’s smart, should need Oklahoma City.

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For once, the comeback was on Oklahoma City’s side

There have been many meltdowns in Thunder history and some of the biggest ones were by the Thunder.

We all know of the Warriors meltdown in 2016. Oklahoma City led by as many as 13, but felt like 23. Klay Thompson went bananas and the Thunder were forced into a Game 6.

In many ways, last night was the opposite of that. Oklahoma City made the comeback and all seemed right. It was almost the monkey off the Thunder’s back.

Here are all of the greatest comebacks and collapses in the playoffs by 15 or more with the Thunder (because of the 15-point mark, the Warriors loss was not added).

Collapses

2017 first round, Game 2: Houston (15)

OKC 109
HOU 113
April 19, 2017

This collapse is one of those that’s not really a collapse but fits within the arbitrary parameters we’ve chosen. Oklahoma City went up 28-13 on the Rockets with 3:23 left in the first quarter. The Thunder held their own in double digits for a good portion of the game. The Thunder held a 12-point lead late into the third but the bench fell through and Houston had the lead less than four minutes into the fourth and the rest is history.

2012 NBA Finals, Game 4 – Miami (17)

OKC 99
MIA 104
June 19, 2012

This, like the previous meltdown, happened in the first quarter. This is the second real playoff meltdown. This one unfortunately came in the NBA Finals. Oklahoma City jumped up 27-12 with 2:28 on a Nick Collison bucket. Oklahoma City led 33-16 with about 20 seconds to go in the first but Miami went on a 15-0 run to pull within 33-32 with 8:30 left in the second. Oklahoma City was able to hold off the Heat until middle of the third. However, Miami took the lead and would never trail again.

2013 second round, Game 4 – Grizzlies (17)

OKC   97
MEM 103
OT – May 13, 2013

A Russell Westbrook-less Thunder team, trailed 2-1 in a Memphis showdown. They took a 43-26 lead mid-second quarter and it appeared the Thunder were on their way. However, the Grizzlies’ comeback was on the back on a 23-9 run. It wasn’t until the end of the third quarter that we saw Memphis come back and finally take the lead. No one led by more than three in the final 10 minutes of regulation, with the leads going back and forth. Oklahoma City never led in overtime.

2014 second round, Game 4 – Clippers (22)

OKC 99
LAC 101
May 11, 2014

This is the largest blown playoff lead in Thunder history. A 22-point loss to the Chris Paul and the LA Clippers. This was the first in three straight games with double-digit blown leads. Luckily, Oklahoma City was on the winning side on the other two. If you told me though, Oklahoma City was going to take a 29-7 lead in the playoffs, I would’ve guaranteed a Thunder victory. That wasn’t the case this night. Oklahoma City’s 16-point lead in the fourth quarter was evaporated

2011 Western Conference Finals, Game 4 – Dallas (15)

DAL  112
OKC 105
OT – May 23, 2011

This one… this one is one of the more painful. Kevin Durant hit a jumper and Oklahoma City went up by 15 with 5:06 left in the fourth quarter. It seemed Oklahoma City was going to equalize the series. Oklahoma City went 1-of-9 down the stretch, letting Dallas outscore the Thunder 17-2 to force overtime. Durant missed a 30-footer to force overtime. I still have nightmares of this game.

Comebacks

2014 second round, Game 5 – Clippers (15)

LAC 104
OKC 105

May 13, 2014

Remember this photo? Yeah, from that game. Westbrook draining three free throws with 6.4 seconds left while Durant cannot stomach to watch them go through the net. Oklahoma City overcame a 15-point deficit, which was the patented first quarter deficit. What made this game so special was the Thunder’s ability to overcome a 101-94 deficit with 49 seconds remaining. Durant hit a three. Clippers missed a jumper. Westbrook stole a pass from Chris Paul. Then, Paul fouled Westbrook from three, hit hit all three with 6.4 seconds left to win the game. LA never got a shot off due to fantastic Thunder defense.

2014 second round, Game 6 – Clippers (16)

OKC 104
LAC   98
May 15, 2014

Durant was once a vital member of this team and showed out, scoring 39 points and pulling down 16 rebounds. LA grabbed a 16-point lead a couple of times in the first half with 7:28 left in the first half. The Thunder came back with a 13-2 run, pulling within five. Though, LA held a 7-point lead with 2:53 left in the third. Oklahoma City with the combination of Durant and Westbrook, fueled Oklahoma City’s comeback. A 13-4 that bled into the fourth quarter gave Oklahoma City lead for good. Oklahoma City pushed their lead to as many as 11 in the final minutes of the fourth.

2012 Western Conference Finals, Game 6 – Spurs (18)

SA     99
OKC 107
June 6, 2012

Westbrook and Durant combined for 33 second half points as Oklahoma City overcame an 18-point deficit. San Antonio led throughout the first half by double digits. San Antonio led by double digits for half of the game. Oklahoma City, powered by their two all-stars fueled a comeback and a march onto their first ever NBA Finals. San Antonio had no answer for either players shots. It was a nice change of pace with how the series started, the Thunder falling back 2-0.

2011 second round, Game 4 – Memphis (18)

OKC 133
MEM 123
3OT – May 9, 2011

One of the greatest games in Thunder history. Oklahoma City overcame an 18-point deficit and avoided a 3-1 series hole. Memphis took an 18-point lead in the second quarter, OJ Mayo (!!) put them up by 18. The thunder had pulled with four by halftime. Oklahoma City took their first lead in the second half but Mike Conley hit a big three, sending the game into the first overtime. Oklahoma City blew multiple seven-point leads. In the first overtime, it was Greivis Vasquez who naield a three to tie it up. Durant bricked a chance on a game winner, sending it to a second overtime. Westbrook tied the game up with 30 seconds to go but both teams combined for four misses, sending it to a third overtime. That’s where Oklahoma City took over. Durant hit a jumper with 30 seconds left to put Oklahoma City up by eight. Dequan Cook sank free throws to give OKC a 10-point victory.

2018 first round, Game 5 – Utah (25)

Utah 99
OKC 107
April 25, 2018

You saw it. It was tied for the largest second half comeback in NBA playoff history. It was the fourth largest comeback in NBA playoff history. Oklahoma City only had one turnover once they started their comeback, having to be nearly perfect to get the victory and live to fight another day.

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Jazz Meltdown! 4.25.18

The Oklahoma City Thunder made a historic comeback and sent their first round series with the Utah Jazz back to Salt Lake City for Game 6. Jazz fants went from cocky, making Hamilton the Musical jokes, to melting down with all of the meltdowns. They gave Westbrook actual credit. That’s weird. Enjoy!

  • This game is gravy.
  • Tonight is the Crowder game
  • Calling this right now. Mitchell goes for 40+. His 3 point shot will be fire tonight.
  • I can’t believe I am saying this, but I have Hamilton tickets for tonight and the only thing I am thinking about is the Jazz!
  • Hamilton is the ****.
  • THOMAS JEFFERSON’S COMIN HOME
  • Donovan > Jefferson
  • I am predicting a big win for Alexander Hamilton in tonight’s duel vs. Aaron Burr. No spoilers if you know how this turns out!
  • Brewer is a b**** a** roach
  • Pansy P with the fluke basket
  • I can tell right now that Thunder will play much better they did the last two games.
  • Billy just took Carmelo out… not fair put him back.
  • Crowder with the steal chair to his haters
  • Crowder is Larry Bird
  • Holy ****. Jae Crowder with the insane spark off the bench.
  • This game feels like a Jazz win. We are moving, rotating and hitting open 3s.
  • Dante slipped on Fatman Felton’s butter sweat
  • Joe Ingles giving pushoff P a Pushoff and hitting a 3 is the highlight of the series LOL
  • When Fatman Felton runs the floor Thunders
  • Stupid OKC fans dumb punks
  • I missed it, what happened?
  • Nothing really, I just hate them
  • Felton so fat he didnt even feel that he was pushin Exum out of bounds with his belly.
  • Get your Westbrick shot out of there Rudy molested you
  • Thunder arena sounds best silent,
  • kicking their assssss
  • Westbrick is not smart enough to even see what the problem is.
  • A tech on OKC. This is fun.
  • How many shots did Westbrook jack up? Holy ****.
  • I really hate Westbrick’s face reminds me of a kermit the frog on crack
  • OKC is incredibly dumb… can’t tell how much is players and how much is coach.
  • The way the crowd is acting I feel like I’m watching a game in early January – very low energy.
  • Gobert just destroyed Westbrick’s career. I mean destroyed whatever is left of it. He can still do a muppets movie as a 3d crack head Kermit the Frog
  • Time for OKC to start with the frustration fouls and starting fights
  • What is Crymelo postseason record against us… 3-8 now?
  • We’re up by 25 on a team that has quit.
  • OKC just doesn’t want it. Don’t let them think they do.
  • Personally I would love it if the arena emptied before the 8 minute mark in the 4th.
  • Westbrick finally shows up.
  • Don’t do this Jazz… don’t give them one damned breathe of air.
  • Down 18 stupid okc fans suck at match think they are down by a bucket
  • Westbrook hits 2 though shots. He’s now going to force 6 more in 3 minutes.
  • Let’s push this thing to 30, then we can relax
  • Keep your foot on their throat Jazz
  • damn looks like jazz got this
  • Jesus. So much for them laying down after being down 25
  • Okc will run out of gas.
  • This come back will be short lived
  • Adam Silver doing some wwe **** now
  • Jazz are completely falling apart.
  • What the actual **** i
  • whats happening. Our offense is awful
  • One of the biggest choke jobs in playoff history.
  • **** the NBA and **** NBATV. Why can’t I watch this **** on national TV. ****
  • I’m getting worried.
  • 25 point lead gone just like that.
  • Ingles gonna give okc a kangaroo kick
  • I’m gonna be in an awful mood if this continues
  • Son of a….
  • Wtf Are we watching
  • What an explosion from Westbrook.
  • One of the craziest quarters of basketball I’ve ever seen.
  • I don’t have a good feeling about this.
  • If your gonna give up a 25 point lead at least take a little more time to do it.
  • Give Westbrook some credit. Hell of a quarter from him.
  • I can only hope Westbrook is outta gas….but he’s an mvp…
  • seriously falling apart. no composure
  • Now when we win it will merely crush Westbrook’s will even further. So do not despair.
  • That’s it I’m done. I’m to frustrated with this ******** officiating. Wife is pissed because I’m yelling. Calling it a night before I end up in the dog house
  • Westbrick ain’t nothing, we got this.
  • Do not blame refs. No single lineup of NBA players should blow a lead that big that fast.
  • Not sure if I’ve ever seen a jazz team meltdown like this.
  • We have shat the bed.
  • If the Jazz lose I’m going to be worried about the momentum for Thunder in game 6 and 7.
  • So who were all the people on here earlier today saying they wanted Westbrook to play this game? Good call guys…
  • Game over. Jazz down and can’t stop Westbrook.
  • Let’s leave Westbrook unguarded so he can hit mid-range jumpers.
  • Terrible! I can’t get how you lead by 25 and blow it. If they lose this series. This will go down as the biggest let down in Jazz franchise history.
  • OKC vs Houston should be fun to watch
  • Absolutely unbelievably horrible performance.
  • Championship teams don’t blow 25 pt leads.
  • Our worst nightmare just happened. We let Westbrook find himself and this series just shifted.
  • I have a friend Chris who texted me saying we murdered them… and they immediately came back… I have informed him that he is no longer my friend and I am going to his house now to lay an upper decker in every toilet in his house.
  • DM finally looked a little shell shocked too…
  • Top three most pathetic game in Jazz history.
  • Wouldn’t be right the way this season has been to not have the Jazz set another record of some kind.
  • gonna long ****ing 48 hours
  • I was yelling so much I think I’m getting a divorce.
  • We ain’t coming back.
  • Guys seriously I think that game gave me cancer.
  • Surprised by OKC not giving up when they were dead in the water. Props
  • We got Westbrooked.
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Thunder complete historic comeback

25 points. It seemed insurmountable. Russell Westbrook had other things in mind.

Westbrook, the 2016-17 NBA’s Most Valuable Player, outscored the Utah Jazz 33-28 en route to the Oklahoma City Thunder finding a way to save their season.

“A 25-point lead, a 20-point in the NBA is not safe,” Jazz head coach Quin Snyder said. “Especially when you got two guys like Russell and Paul George that can do what they did.”

Westbrook’s heroics sends Oklahoma City to Utah in a Game 6 on Friday night with a 107-99 win.

Utah leads the series 3-2. It’s the first win in franchise history when trailing 3-1.

Oklahoma City trailed by 15 at halftime and it appeared the season was over. When the Jazz came out and threw some more haymakers, putting Oklahoma City down 25 with 8:32 the meltdown on social media and in living rooms across this great state commenced.

Russell Westbrook had other ideas in mind.

Westbrook came out of a timeout, nailed two big threes. Those threes, reminiscent of his MVP season, dagger threes. Momentum building shots that organically injected energy into the crowd. That fueled the Thunder’s comeback.

Westbrook then found George, who cut to the rim for a lay up. Westbrook came back with back-to-back buckets. In the blink of an eye, the Thunder cut the deficit down to 13 with 5:08 remaining. Everyone had hope again.

The comeback was complete when Westbrook rose in to heights of Loud City and drained a three, leveling the game at 78-all to end the third quarter.

“I think tonight obviously, with the magnitude of the game and the excitement to come back, we played off each other very, very well,” Westbrook said. “Made big plays. Paul made big plays down the stretch, stayed in attack mode, and it was good tonight.”

Throughout a large part of the run, Carmelo Anthony sat on the bench. While the Thunder took the lead right in the early moments of the fourth quarter, Anthony sat. He sat as the Thunder went on a 40-16 run. Not a typo. When Anthony finally re-entered at the 7:58 mark of the fourth, Oklahoma City clinged to a one-lead.

Utah regained the lead at 91-90 with 6:36 but Westbrook nailed another three. That was followed by an Alex Abrines three-pointer, putting Oklahoma City up 96-91.

A lot of the comeback was done without the big men of Utah. Rudy Gobert and Derrick Favors both had five fouls and were non-existent in the second half after being so important in the first half.

“We talked a lot better,” Thunder head coach Billy Donovan said. “We saw things coming. We just did things at a better level. That’s been our challenge.”

Over the game’s final 20 minutes and 32 seconds, Westbrook and George assisted or scored on all 61 points as the Thunder outscored Utah 61-28 over that stretch. Westbrook scored 33 points over that time frame, outscoring Utah by five.

Westbrook finished with 45 points, 15 rebounds and seven assists. George finished with 34 points, eight rebounds and two steals. No other Thunder player would score more than seven points (Anthony). Steven adams finished six points and six rebounds. Abrines finished a game high plus-18 for the Thunder.

Utah hit seven threes in the first quarter and the Thunder were content as they trailed by only five. However, the Jazz took a 56-41 lead into the break.

“All pride,” George said. “We’re not gonna lose here. This crowd, Oklahoma. They didn’t quit on us, didn’t die on us. We felt them. That energy was unbelievable.”

Game 6 is scheduled for 9:30 p.m. on Friday night. The late tip-off is due to those on the East coast tipping off before. That game will be on ESPN. If the Thunder win, a decisive Game 7 will be on Sunday, April 29. The time for that game has yet to be determined. It has a lot to do with the Toronto-Washington and Cleveland-Indiana series. If they go to Game 7s, Oklahoma City could see a very late tip-off again.

Three Keys to the Game

Second Quarter: F

In a quarter that was so key in previous games, was almost the dagger in the Thunder’s heart again. But, it was the Thunder’s third quarter which turned the tide.

Second chance scoring: A+

Oklahoma City scored 20 second chance points tonight. They had scored only 21 points in the previous three games. That’s huge. When they can grab offensive board and put the shots back up, they’re obviously scoring more but they’re giving themselves extra opportunities and limiting what Utah can do offensively.

Big Three: A+

This is an A+ without even Anthony being considered. Russell Westbrook was amazing. Paul George was out of this world. Both players played all 24 minutes in the second half and despite being tired gave everything to the Thunder and this season. They’ll need that a few more times.

 

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