The Thunder took the lead on the first possession and never looked back. They have been faster, stronger, and more efficient than any of the players on a Cavs uniform. Steven Adams and Paul George combined for the first 20 points Oklahoma City scored. The Cavs didn’t have an answer for either of the Thunder’s star, especially Adams.
Cleveland lost Love after only three minutes, he didn’t feel good, nothing serious, but he didn’t come back. The Cavs did a little run in the second quarter when the Thunder’s second-unit was on the floor, but once the starters came back, things went back to normal: 76-60 after the first half.
In the second part of the game, the Thunder didn’t take the foot up from the gas: they kept running, pushing, and took advantage of all the Cavs’ issues on the defensive end.
This was supposed to be the game where Lebron James reaches and maybe passes the 30.000 career points (he was only 25 points shy), but Paul George and Andre Roberson kept him away from it. James finished with 18 points, 7-18 from the floor, 0-4 from behind the three points line, and only 2-4 from the FT line.
The Thunder are now six games above .500, the best they have been this whole season.
Steven Adams is a monster, and it is so great that he had an excellent game on National Tv because people don’t know yet how good he is. When people talk about the Thunder, they talk about the big three, but there should be more talk about Adams. Last night, he had another stellar performance: 25 points (12-13 FG), 10 rebounds (5 on offense), 1 block, 1 assist. Adams was everywhere on defense and he was a dominant force on the offense. Steven sets strong screens, opens up lanes for the other players in transition, goes for every missed shot, and his touch in the paint became super efficient. His contract doesn’t look bad now, right?
Paul George wanted the challenge to go against Lebron James, he did it, and he had an amazing game. George finished with a game-high 36 points (12-19 FG, 5-11 3PT, 7-8 FT), 7 rebounds, and 2 assists. He looked super comfortable on offense, he moved perfectly without the ball, and when he needed to, he attacked the basket. Unstoppable.
Russell Westbrook was in total control of the tempo last night. He controlled the pace at will. Westbrook found his teammates in their favorite spots, and they delivered. Russell Westbrook finished the game with an outstanding 21 points – 20 assists. Not only points and assists, he also added 9 rebounds and 2 steals.
Last but not least, Carmelo Anthony. Melo was again super efficient last night. He finished the game with 29 points (11-19 FG, 3-6 3PT, 4-4 FT), 10 rebounds, 3 assists, and 1 steal. Since he accepted his role as a spot up shooter, things have definitely changed for the Thunder’s power forward. He looks more comfortable on offense, he is more effective, and as Anthony himself said, he is having fun again. At this point in his career, this is the best Anthony’s version possible.
The only two aspects which weren’t really positive last night have been the full bench unit and the defense. During the second quarter, the reserves (without any of the big three) let the Cavs back into the game. They did a better job in the second half, also because Donovan decided to stagger the big three. Felton had another solid game, he finished with 8 points, 6 rebounds, 5 assists, and 1 block.
Last night, the defense wasn’t particularly solid: the Thunder gave up 124 points, which is obviously not good. However, it wasn’t an issue yesterday because Oklahoma City was able to hit everything on offense.
- FG% 58.0, 3P% 46.0, FT% 64.0, ASSISTS 37, REBOUNDS 52, STEALS 9, TURNOVERS 13
- FG% 51.0, 3P% 27.0, FT% 81.0, ASSISTS 32, REBOUNDS 28, STEALS 7, TURNOVERS 15
The Thunder will play on Tuesday at home against the Brooklyn Nets, tip-off 7 p.m. CT.
Cover photo by Jeff Haynes