Without Roberson and Abrines for the second consecutive game, the Thunder focused mostly on the offensive side of the floor. Oklahoma City struggled for the first three quarters to keep Los Angeles away from the paint. In fact, lead by Griffin and Jordan, the Clippers were able to collect offensive rebounds and score on second chances shots again and again. The Thunder gave up 64 points in the paint. That’s a lot. However, in the fourth quarter, Oklahoma City adjusted and started to get stops, defensive rebounds and held the Clippers to a twenty points fourth quarter.
On the other side of the floor, the Thunder were fantastic. The offense ran smoothly for most of the game, starters and bench players mashed up perfectly. Oklahoma City seems to have figured things out on offense, and they are looking pretty scary.
Paul George is pretty good at basketball. Last night, he had (another) outstanding game. He finished with 31 points, 6 rebounds, and 3 assists. However, the most impressive part of his game was the efficiency: He went 12-16 from the floor and 5-8 from behind the three points line. He didn’t force anything, took his shots completely in rhythm, and he was lethal while doing so.
Carmelo Anthony seems to have finally found his role on this team. The results are impressive. Not only for the team itself but also Melo’s production and efficiency improved drastically. Anthony is playing more off the ball, let’s say he is more Olympic Melo and less Iso-Hoodie-Melo. Last night he finished with 22 points on 9-12 shooting, 3-6 from behind the arc., and an MF bomb in the post-game interview.
Russell Westbrook is doing Russell Westbrook things again, and it’s fun to watch. The former MVP finished with his 13th triple-double of the year: 29 points (11-24 FG, 2-2 3PT, 5-6 FT), 11 assists, 12 rebounds, 1 steal, and 6 turnovers. The Thunder are 10-3 this season when Westbrook notches a triple-double. Another important fact: Westbrook is leading the league in assists with 10.1 per game.
Terrence Ferguson and the bench provided some solid minutes again last night. The rookie finished for the second consecutive time in double-digit scoring with 11 points (even tho he didn’t shoot particularly well), Felton added 12, and Grant 8. The bench did an excellent job especially in the beginning of the fourth quarter on the defensive side of the floor. Ferguson is gaining more trust from the coaching staff, and with Abrines struggling, Terrence might see more playing time going forward.
The Thunder offense is clicking and it’s pretty scary. In the past eight games, Oklahoma City is scoring 115.9 points per game (1st) and have an offensive rating of 119 (1st). Big numbers and big efficiency. If we analyze these past eight games, then we’ll see that Oklahoma City is shooting 51.7% from the floor (1st) and 40.4% from behind the arc (3rd). It’s hard to say if this will be sustainable, but the Thunder are on the right path to becoming one of the best offensive team in the league.
- FG% 53.7, 3P% 44.1, FT% 71.4, ASSISTS 23, REBOUNDS 46, STEALS 4, TURNOVERS 14
- FG% 45.0, 3P% 30.0, FT% 78.3, ASSISTS 29, REBOUNDS 45, STEALS 5, TURNOVERS 10
The Thunder will end their road trip in Phoneix against the Suns on Sunday night, tip off 7 p.m. CT
Cover Photo by Harry How/NBAE via Getty Images