The Thunder Keep On Rumbling

The Oklahoma City Thunder kept their seven-game win streak alive with a 98-80 win over the Houston Rockets. After Russell Westbrook went down in the third quarter of the Thunder’s 122-116 win over the New Orleans Pelicans after going up to challenge Pelicans big man Anthony Davis shot Westbrook would land awkwardly on his ankle resulting in a bad ankle sprain. There was understandable worry that this team would start to crumble with the loss of their leader, but The Thunder were able to regroup and finish the Pelicans off thanks to Paul George and Dennis Schroder scoring 23 and 22 points respectively. The first game without Westbrook was on the road against the struggling Cleveland Cavaliers.

The Thunder would defeat the Cavaliers in an ugly affair that would see the Thunder overcome a tough offensive night to beat the Cavaliers 95-86. The absence of Westbrook was noticeable, but the Thunder managed to produce on defense creating 13 steals while also limiting the Cavaliers to under 30 percent from three-point range as the Cavaliers shot 9-of-31 from three at 29 percent. In the absence of

Westbrook back up point guard, Schroder stepped up scoring 28 points with a plus-minus of 20 only matched by Thunder big man Steven Adams who also had a plus-minus of 20 with nine points, 13 rebounds to go along with two steals and two blocks. The Thunder managed to extend their win streak to six after defeating the Cavaliers on their home court, but it was on to the Rockets at home.

Westbrook couldn’t get up for the second game since his injury against the Pelicans which meant George, Adams, and Schroder would have to repeat their performance against the Cavaliers but against a tougher test on paper that is. The Thunder brought their defense against the Rockets which led to an 18 point victory on the second night of a back to back. The Thunder held the Rockets to the lowest score for any team this season and their lowest score in Coach Mike D’Antoni tenure with the Houston side. The Thunder just looked like a different species on the court as they flew through the air with alley-oop dunks with Schroder assisting Jerami Grant who was sky walking inside the Chesapeake arena. The Thunder had their giant in the paint that feasted on the beard in James Harden as the Thunder exploited lousy defense by the Rockets as the kept feeding Adams who had Harden on his back leading to Adams scoring 19 points and 10 rebounds with a plus-minus of 22. All of the Thunders starters had a plus-minus of above 20 with the highest being Paul George who had a massive 35 finishing the night with 20 points, 11 rebounds and six assists to go along with six steals.
Dennis Schroder finds Jerami Grant for the slam and Russ is loving it! 💥#ThunderUp
— NBA TV (@NBATV) November 9, 2018   The Thunder have done a fantastic job on defense in the absence of Westbrook but the offense has struggled. The return of Westbrook is a mystery at this time but a positive for the Thunder is Westbrook was seen walking without a limp but that still doesn’t mean he is basketball ready with the Thunders next game coming on Saturday against the Dallas Mavericks the Thunder will hope they can get their superstar ready in time but if he can’t get up the team has shown they can win despite Westbrook missing.

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