The Oklahoma City Thunder won an important game last night in Memphis, 102-101 after one overtime.
The Thunder played a marginally stable game, but due to a really strong third quarter, Oklahoma City was able to first recover from a 20 points deficit. With this boost of confidence, they brought the game to overtime, and finally got an important win on the road.
While Westbrook and Anthony are still struggling with shooting (selection and efficiency), outstanding performances by Abrines and Adams, a solid defensive second half, and some luck made this win happen.
With Paul George still out, The Thunder needed someone to step up and found that player in Alex Abrines. Abrines had a career night: 20 points (7-10 FG, 6-8 3PT) and 4 rebounds. He moved a lot on offense and had always his feet set to take shots out of the screens. On defense he did a solid job, he didn’t foul too much and this allowed Donovan to keep him on the floor.
Steven Adams is having a solid stretch in the past few games. Last night he was a beast on both ends of the floor. He finished with 21 points (7-11 FG, 7-12 FT), 9 rebounds (6 on offense) and 1 block. He has been everywhere on the defensive side of the floor and did his best to slow down Gasol and the perimeter players when he was switched to them. Finally, the team is looking for him more frequently on offense and it’s paying off.
Russell Westbrook had another troublesome night. His shot selection wasn’t particularly bad (we saw worse) but he just couldn’t make a shot(turn the shots into buckets?). He finished with 20 points (7-29 FG, 1-12 3PT, 5-8 FT), 14 assists, and 11 rebounds. Nevertheless, he turned the ball over only 3 times which is a good thing. Back to his shot selection, I think he did an excellent job in the last seconds of overtime: Westbrook attacked the basket and did not settle for a contested long three. He scored on the first attempt and he got fouled on the second: 4 points, game, set, match. Although his performance was overall still not reaching its usual quality and standard of last season, his last actions decided the game and lead them to this much-needed win. At the end of this season, nobody will remember the struggle before overtime: its a win and this is how we take it.
- FG% 39.1 3P% 35.3, FT% 58.1, ASSISTS 18, REBOUNDS 46, STEALS 8, TURNOVERS 10
- FG% 44.3, 3P% 39.4, FT% 58.8, ASSISTS 23, REBOUNDS 48, STEALS 5, TURNOVERS 15
The Thunder will be back at home on Monday night, they will play against the Charlotte Hornets. Tip-off 7 p.m. Central Time.
Cover Photo by Zach Beeker | OKC Thunder photos