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Real plus minus vs Warriors: Westbrook doesn’t go quietly into his good night

The Oklahoma City Thunder went down last night to the Golden State Warriors 107-111  in a must-win game for the Thunder and their hunt for a playoff spot.

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The Thunder lost but it wasn’t without a fight from its star Russell Westbrook giving it everything he had, especially a third-quarter barrage that ultimately wasn’t enough. Westbrook finished the night with a game-high 44 points, 16 rebounds and six assists to go along with an efficient shooting performance going 57.7 percent from the field and 42.9 percent from three hitting three-of-seven shots.  Westbrook was ultimately alone on the night as Paul George added another woeful shooting performance to his recent form slump as he went 5-of-19 from the field and 3-of-9 from three-point range to score 20 points. Carmelo Anthony was horrific as well from three-point range as he went 0-of-9 from behind the arc.


PLUS

Russell Westbrook

Russell Westbrook was once again at his absolute best against the Golden State Warriors and once again it was for nothing as he had to go it alone once again. When The Thunder accuried Paul George and Carmelo Anthony the thought was that Westbrook wouldn’t ever have to go it alone again but on  Tuesday night Westbrook had to go it alone as he put up 44 points, 16 rebounds, and six assists but it was his effecientcey that set him apart from his teammates as Westbrook shot 57.7 percent from the field on 15-of-26 shots and a brilliant 3-of-7 from three-point range with one of those three coming in the face of Kevin Durant in the third quarter that saw Westbrook takover and matches the Warriors shot for shot.

The Thunder didn’t want to see this happen again after last season when Westbrook averaged a triple-double for the season and became the most clutch player in all of basketball. However, with George and Anthony struggling and Steven Adams not being at his best, Westbrook had to do what the game asked of him he was just outnumbered in the end with the Warriors having Durant, Draymond Green and Klay Thompson to counteract what Westbrook was doing for the Thunder.

Third Quarter

The Thunder stood toe to toe with the Warriors in the third quarter which is the Warriors best usually as they lead the league with an offensive rating 119.2 with the next best being the Denver Nuggets 113.8. The Thunder outscored the Warriors 34-27 in the third with Westbrook leading the way, scoring 17 points while shooting 70 percent from the field and 50 percent from three-point range. Anthony helped out putting up 10 points while the Warriors tried to keep up Westbrook was just too much in the third term for the former champions and it once again showed that when Westbrook is at his very best and he is maybe only matched by LeBron James as the most unstoppable force in all of basketball.


MINUS

Paul George and Carmelo Anthony

Paul George and Carmelo Anthony combined for a total of 9-of-35 against the Warriors for a total percentage of 25.7 and a disastrous 3-of-18 from three-point range for a woeful percentage of 16.7. George and Anthony let Westbrook down against the Warriors and George knew it after the game. “I take it on myself. We’ve got to do a better job of helping Russ.” George said in the post-game scrum. For the Oklahoma City to have any chance of being competitive and making it to the playoffs George needs to search and find his shot again he seems to of left in the Staples Center before the three-point contest and Anthony must do a better job of making better-shot selections.

Bench

The Thunders bench did not show up against the Warriors getting outscored 14-38 that is simply not good enough. Alex Abrines lead the way for the Thunder off the bench giving them eight points on 60 percent shooting from the field and 50 percent from three-point range. Jerami Grant and Raymond Felton have been sensational since the All-Star break but when they were needed the most they didn’t show up and it was disappointing especially for Grant who had been building some great momentum and buzz around himself and against his toughest opponent he didn’t show up and the Thunder really felt his absence with his energy and athleticism.

Assists

Oklahoma City only managed a total of 13 assists against Golden State while the Warriors managed 27 assists. The lack of assists wasn’t because of bad passes or getting the ball late in the shot clock, the Thunder did a fantastic job of moving the ball with Anthony, George and Corey Brewer making extra passes to find open teammates and Westbrook finding teammates in space for open looks the Thunder where just not able to hit their shots, the Thunder shot 35-of-93 at a percentage of 37.6 and 9-of-38 from three-point range shooting at 23.7 percent. even with the lack of making shots the Thunder still where able to stay within a two-possession game if  George, Anthony or the bench could have given the team their average game the Thunder could have walked out with a great victory instead they are leaving with their playoff spot in absolute danger with the best team in basketball the Houston Rockets up next.


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