Russell Westbrook recorded his 24th triple-double of the season for the Thunder, but it wasn’t enough as Oklahoma City fell to the defending champion Cleveland Cavaliers 107-91.
Oklahoma City got out to a hot start, as they were pushing the ball in transition and beating Cleveland down the court almost every time. They won the first quarter 24-21.
Things got lopsided in the second quarter, as the Thunder couldn’t seem to get a bucket and the Cavs finally started hitting. The Thunder started forcing some bad shots and were eventually outscored by 16 in the second quarter.
Three pointers weren’t falling tonight which ended up being a big problem for OKC. They finished the game 6-of-26 from behind the line. Westbrook was 1-of-6 and Victor Oladipo was 1-of-4.
Leading the Thunder was Russell Westbrook with 20 points, but not a great shooting night finishing 7-of-26. Next was Oladipo with 17, and Joffrey Lauvergne with 14.
This was the Thunder’s first game without Enes Kanter, and his absence was really showing. The second unit had really found a groove, throwing him the ball inside and him either making a post move or dishing it out. That was nowhere to be found today as the offense ended up pretty stagnant.
Oklahoma City had no answer for Kyrie Irving and Lebron James. Both of them could score at any time and were having their way with the Thunder’s defense. Irving finished with 29, James with 25. Iman Shumpert added in 16. Kevin Love sat the second half with an injury, and only played 12 minutes. In his absence, Tristan Thompson had 19 points and 12 rebounds.
Oklahoma City made a run with Westbrook on the bench in the fourth, getting within 82-75 but Irving scored a pair of layups and later drained a 30-foot three-pointer to give the Cavs a 98-82 lead.
Overall, the Thunder just didn’t have an answer for Cleveland’s stars. The bench cut the lead to 7 in the fourth, but just couldn’t get stops. They were trading buckets, and hitting two’s while Cleveland started nailing three’s. The game got out of hand late, as the Thunder just couldn’t keep up.
Next up for Oklahoma City is the San Antonio Spurs. That game will be on the road Tuesday night at 7:30 p.m.
KEYS TO THE GAME
The Thunder started out with this ranking as an A+ after the first quarter. They made Cleveland look pretty old and slow. But as the game went on, the Thunder stopped running and getting buckets in transition. They didn’t have many opportunities to run after turnovers, as they only forced five.
Big third: C+
The Thunder were only outscored by two in the third quarter. Holding back this grade, is the fact that they only scored 20 points. If the offense could score tonight, the outcome may have been different. Granted, they did only allow Cleveland 22 points, so it was a solid defensive quarter.
Pound the glass: B-
The reason why this grade is higher than the others, is the fact that the Thunder grabbed 55 rebounds. They out rebounded Cleveland but still couldn’t get a whole lot going from offensive boards. Steven Adams finished the game with only seven points. They also allowed 19 points to Tristan Thompson.