It was just another night at the office for your MVP, Russell Westbrook. Westbrook led the Thunder in another night of fourth quarter heroics, this time past the Magic, 114-106 in overtime.
The Thunder started out slow once again. The offense was extremely stagnant in the first half. Nobody could get anything going, and then Russell Westbrook happened. Facing a 13-point deficit with three minutes left in the fourth quarter, Westbrook completely took over the game.
He finished with 57 points, 13 rebounds and 11 assists. This was his 38th triple double of the year. He did turn the ball over seven times, but he had no turnovers in the second half, and took care of the ball when it really mattered. 57 points is the most points scored in NBA history when triple-doubling, 37 of them came in the second half. No big deal.
The Thunder still trailed late when Nikola Vucevic missed a key free-throw with only seconds left to play. Russell Westbrook rebounded the ball, dribbled the length of the floor, and nailed a contested three over two Magic defenders.
The Thunder had three players in double figures tonight. Enes Kanter added in 17 from off the bench and Victor Oladipo had 13. It was a tough shooting night for everyone on the Thunder besides Russell Westbrook. As a team, Oklahoma City only shot 42 percent from the field, and an even worse 30 percent from the three-point line.
Luckily for the Thunder, the Magic had an even worse shooting night from the field. They ended up shooting 40 percent. They did however have six players in double figures. Leading the charge for Orlando was Evan Fournier who racked up 24 points on the night. Vucevic added 11 points and 16 rebounds.
This was the Thunder’s largest comeback in franchise history, as they fell behind by as many as 21 points.
Russell Westbrook showed again tonight why he deserves the MVP. Fans do not deserve his greatness. His ability to take over a game late in the fourth quarter is just unmatched, as he has showed in both outings this week. Russell Westbrook now has triple-doubles in eight of his last ten games, and has earned MVP chants twice in the month of March in the visiting team’s arena.
Next up for the Thunder they will be at home against the San Antonio Spurs this Friday at 7:00 p.m. Oklahoma City will look to continue their hot streak as they have now won eight of their last 10.
KEYS TO THE GAME
Shoot the three: C-
The Thunder did not shoot the ball well from distance tonight. But, they ended up hitting shots when it mattered. Westbrook made three in the fourth, and Abrines added two of his own in the quarter as well.
Make free-throws: C-
Oklahoma City was off all around tonight shooting wise. They shot 64 percent from the free-throw line. They are lucky that it didn’t hurt them because the Magic ended up at only 70 percent. Westbrook did finish the game 9-of-11 from the line.
Take care of the ball: B
The Thunder won the turnover battle tonight. And if it wasn’t for Russell’s seven first half turnovers, they would’ve ended with only four for the game. As it got closer to crunch time though, the thunder really took care of the ball. Russell did not record one turnover in the second half.